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  • Posted By: jkl24jkl
  • Date Posted: 07/12/2011
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Words: 1340
  • Pages: 6
  • Views: 737
  • Rank: 763

Explain The Key Features Of The Cosmological Argument

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Explain The Key Features Of The Cosmological Argument

In this essay I am going to explore the key features of the cosmological argument. The cosmological argument is an argument which states the universe is not explicable without reference to causes and factors outside itself. Although the cosmological argument was famously expressed as one of Thomas Aquinas' Five Ways, (rational arguments for the existence of God,) it was grounded in the Greek metaphysics of Plato and Aristotle. Both argued that the fact of motion requires a mover, ('... the series must start with something for nothing can come from nothing' (Aristotle)). The key ideas of the argument are 'contingency' and 'necessity'; the thought that everything that exists must have a reason, and the idea that the world cannot rely purely on itself alone – thus there must be a greater external being.


To start looking at any argument, one must first look at the original roots and thoughts of the matter. In this case, that means looking at Plato and Aristotle’s views on the cosmological argument, and from that you can see the links to other more modern philosophers such as Aquinas, Swinburne, Leibniz, Hume, Kant and Craig. Plato (c.428–347) was a classical Greek philosopher who laid down the foundations of Western philosophy and science. He also taught Aristotle, who went on to form the ‘four causes’, which consisted of the material, formal, efficient and final causes. Aquinas went on to develop some of these ideas later, showing that they are, in part, still accurate to this day.


Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) was an influential philosopher, who invented the cosmological arguments in the 13th Century. He wrote them as part of his 'five ways' in his book 'Summa Theologica', however it is only the first three of these which are known as the cosmological argument. These are; the unmoved ...

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