Would fate be seen as cause and effect

“The sufficient reason” at Leibniz - life as a fateful coincidence

Table of Contents

1 Introduction

2. The sufficient reason with Leibniz
2.1 God - The reason of all reasons
2.2 The sufficient reason as a deterministic basis
2.3 Chance as Contingency

3. Determinism
3.1 Principle of causality
3.2 causal determinism
3.3 Determinism as a deterministic law

4. Indeterminism
4.1 The future is open
4.2 Basic law or description of the state
4.3 Indeterminism - the stepchild of philosophy

5. Coincidence
5.1 Subjective coincidence
5.2 Objective coincidence
5.3 Does God roll the dice?

6. Destiny
6.1 Concepts of fate
6.2 Fate at Leibniz
6.3 Fate as the randomness of fate

7. Conclusion

1 Introduction

The following housework is dedicated to Leibniz's theorem of sufficient reason (lat. Principium rationis sufficientis). For Leibniz, the principle of sufficient reason is not only a supporting theorem of his philosophy but, alongside the principle of contradiction, belongs to one of the two principles on which human reasoning is based. In addition to monadology, it can also be found in theodicy as raison d é terminante again. The French term in particular provides information about the scope of the sufficient reason that I will try to approach. In Monadology Leibniz describes the meaning of the sufficient reason as follows: "And that of the sufficient reason, by virtue of which we consider that no fact [fait] can be true or existent and no statement [enonciation] can be correct without it being a sufficient one Reason [raison suffisante] for it is so and not otherwise, although we may not know these reasons most of the time "1.

"This sentence, which says that nothing in the world is and happens without a reason, is for Leibniz a general principle of being that is fundamental to his world perception and interpretation."2 It reflects Leibniz's deeply theological character, because the principle of reason explains God as the ultimate reason of the world. “He recognizes God as the reason for all reasons”.3 The principle of reason supports his cosmological proof of God which is based on cause and effect and through it establishes his deterministic worldview. In Leibniz's determined world, God only acts as the ultimate reason, so, as a kind of first mover - he has no influence on the further course of things. Nevertheless, he leaves her in a contingent coercive relationship. Chance is only recognized as “predetermined”, not as objective.

In my work I will therefore try to prove that a coincidence cannot be ruled out despite the existence of a sufficient reason. For Leibniz there is only the determination of the indeterminate. For him, chance is rather contingency. The possibility of the indeterminate next to the determined is the subject of this housework. It will deal with Sufficient Reason, the general conception of determinism and indeterminism, and the concepts of contingency, chance and fate. In order to substantiate my conjecture, I will go into the theory of objective chance in order to conclude in my conclusion that determinism and indeterminism should not necessarily be viewed as an opposing pair, but rather as an interplay.

2. The sufficient reason with Leibniz

2.1 God - The reason of all reasons

As already mentioned in the introduction, the principle of reason does not just underpin Leibniz's cosmological proof of God, but it is "an essential key to human knowledge of the world"4. The sufficient reason is in Leibniz 'thinking, the reason of all reasons and this is ultimately God himself. In monadology Leibniz' says “So the ultimate reason of things must lie in a necessary substance in which the particularity of the change is only more eminent, such as is contained in a source, and this is what we call God ”.5 Leibniz 'makes his worldview clear to us, which regards God as the creator of the world, that is, as everything that is.

2.2 The sufficient reason as a deterministic basis

This derivation is a model to explain and prove God. It is not only a theological derivation, but above all a rational one based on the principle of causality. This principle, which was based on the concatenation of cause and effect, especially in the time before quantum theory. Here the cause should be understood as a sufficient reason. This principle of causality verifies a deterministic worldview. An idea in which every action and everything that happens has not just a cause, but a sufficient, ultimate reason God.

2.3 Chance as Contingency

In Leibniz's thinking, those events that we would call random are also determined, because the principle of the determining reason (the principle of raison dé terminante) states that nothing happens without a cause or a specific reason. “At the same time, the pre-establishment or predetermination {by the sufficient reason} is not a contradiction to freedom and contingency, because even if all things are decided in God from eternity, then '... the events in themselves remain contingent'. 'That means that even if God is seen as the first mover and sufficient reason, an influence on the course of things is excluded. For Leibniz 'this fact implies freedom. For me it leads to the contradicting description of “life as a fateful coincidence”. Because the concept of contingency ultimately includes both. Namely a fact that combines possibility and necessity in one.

3. Determinism

3.1 Principle of causality

Proponents of causality, despite the knowledge about quantum mechanics, continue to assume that only the measuring instruments and verification options are limited. If one looks at the causal principle, one thing becomes clear from today's theory of science, namely that it continues to be viewed, albeit reluctantly, as a basic requirement for scientific research. "{...} With regard to the fact that in the case of causally inexplicable natural occurrences, it is not assumed that there are no causal laws for this, but that these could not be found so far."6 This means that the lack of predictability in quantum mechanics and probability theory is only due to an inadequate level of science. The principle of causality itself is not called into question.

3.2 causal determinism

From today's perspective, Leibniz 'determinism can be called causal determinism. Since quantum mechanics at the latest, physics has been able to derive general events from a cause-and-effect principle. Accordingly, philosophy is also being forced to rethink. In order not to give up the idea of ​​a deterministic world completely, the term determinism has been reformulated more and more into a legislative principle, especially in the last few decades. Instead of accepting the physical refutation of the principle of determinism, only its level of meaning was redefined. The fact that classical determinism is actually to be equated with the principle of causality continues to be ignored, especially in philosophy.

3.3 Determinism as a deterministic law

"It has largely determined the question of determinism in today's philosophy of science that it was not primarily accentuated as a continuation or resumption of the traditional discussion of causality by other means, but that its pivotal point has rather become the deterministic law."7 As mentioned above, from today's perspective, the term determinism seems to refer to events that result from certain physical laws. Instead of a world based on cause and effect, the deterministic world is now a world based on laws. This can hardly be contradicted from a physical or biological point of view.

4. Indeterminism

4.1 The future is open

Indeterminism is nothing but the opposite of determinism. "We shall take indeterminism to be a doctrine asserting that not all events are 'determined in every detail' (whatever this may mean) and determinism as asserting that they Alles are, without exception, whether future, present, or past. ".8 The principal indeterminism, first demonstrated by quantum physics in the 1920s, assumes that there are things that we cannot determine the course of. The classical idea of ​​causal relationships, the so-called Laplace determinism, has thus been physically refuted. Karl Popper, who in his Indeterminism in Quantum Physics and in Classical Physics - Paper the well-known saying "The future is open"9 has shaped, assumes that even more systems, not just those of classical physics and quantum physics, are indeterministic. "My thesis is that most systems of physics, including classical physics and quantum physics, are indeterministic in perhaps an even more fundamental sense than the one usually ascribed to the indeterminism of quantum physics (in so far as the unpredictability of the events which we shall consider is not mitigated by the predictability of their frequencies). "10

4.2 Basic law or description of the state

The indeterminacy of events opens up a new, freer reality to us and leaves room for phenomena such as chance. Indeterministic quantum physics does not exclude the existence of regularities. Rather, it creates the basis for my chain of arguments mentioned in the introduction. In spite of clearly demonstrable regularities that nature offers us, states and events are at the mercy of possible randomness. The fact that both regularity and indeterminacy exist side by side will be shown more explicitly in the following pages.

[...]



1Monadology, G.W. Leibniz, page 27, § 32.

2God as the foundation of the world in the thinking of G.W. Leibniz, E. Holze, p.59.

3The sentence of the reason, M. Heidegger, p.169.

4God as the foundation of the world in the thinking of G.W. Leibniz, E. Holze, p.59.

5Monadology, G.W. Leibniz, page 31, § 38.

6Determinism-indeterminism, Wolfgang Marx p. 14.

7Determinism-indeterminism, Wolfgang Marx p. 11.

8The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science "Indeterminism in Quantum Physics and in Classical Physics", Karl Popper 1950, Part 1 p. 120.

9The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science "Indeterminism in Quantum Physics and in Classical Physics", Karl Popper 1950, Part 1 p. 121.

10The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science "Indeterminism in Quantum Physics and in Classical Physics", Karl Popper 1950, Part 1 p. 117.

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