Wed, Dec 12, 2018 — 4:25 pm
Events and Activities
Public Lecture by Paul Audi (Rochester)
The Center for Philosophic Exchange is pleased to present a public lecture with Paul Audi (University of Rochester). Prof. Audi's lecture is titled "Existential Inertia vs. Existential Expiration." It will take place in McCue Auditorium (LAB) on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 5 pm.
Abstract. How stable is the natural world? Do its basic constituents persist as long as nothing interferes to destroy them? In other words, do they have existential inertia? Or does everything have an expiration date, so that anything’s survival beyond a certain point would require special intervention? If the default were for things to expire, then we’d have to wonder how we and our surroundings have survived so long. Yet it seems too quick to conclude that things tend to keep existing from the mere fact that we’re still here. The process of decay could be very slow, or suspended by any number of processes. What would be nice, and what I will be looking for, is some underlying reason why things might tend to survive or tend to expire. I will examine how a number of general metaphysical ideas and principles might favor the inertial thesis or the expiration thesis.