Titus-Hepp Lecture Series: Michael Della Rocca presenting "Tamers, Deniers, and Me"

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Denison University’s Department of Philosophy and the Titus-Hepp Lecture Series welcomes Michael Della Rocca, the Downey Orrick Professor of Philosophy at Yale University presenting “Tamers, Deniers, and Me: Restricting the Principle of Sufficient Reason in Kant and Contemporary Philosophy.”

This paper critically examines a prominent and perennial strategy — found in thinkers as diverse as Kant and Shamik Dasgupta — of simultaneously embracing the Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR) and also limiting it so as to avoid certain apparently negative consequences of an unrestricted PSR.

Della Rocca argues that this strategy of taming the PSR faces significant challenges and may even be incoherent. He will develop these criticisms through detailed, direct engagement with both Kant and Dasgupta. And for his (nefarious) purposes, he will enlist a generally derided argument by Leibniz for the PSR which will help us to see the connections between the PSR and a radical form of monism.

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