Ontological Argument Anselm Essay

Ontological Argument Anselm Essay-31
Thus, on this line of reasoning, existence isn't a great-making property because it is not a property at all; it is rather a metaphysically necessary condition for the instantiation of any properties.Now Kant's point has been debated and it is not universally accepted, although I have not read any strong counter arguments.That God, if he exists, is such a being seems clear.

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His argument is not easy to understand especially if you have had little philosophical training, but don't despair, if you re-read his argument a couple of times you will probably get his idea.

According to Kant, Anselm’s mistake is to treat existence as if it is a further property we might conceive of something possessing, in addition to various other properties such as, for example, being tall or all-powerful. Kant rejects premise 3 ["A being that exists as an idea in the mind and in reality is, other things being equal, greater than a being that exists only as an idea in the mind"] on the ground that, as a purely formal matter, existence does not function as a predicate.

This argument was once very popular, but its popularity has waned.

Few philosophers – and I include among them the majority of philosophers who believe in theism– now consider the argument cogent.

Concepts, as a logical matter, are defined entirely in terms of logical predicates.

Since existence isn't a logical predicate, it doesn't belong to the concept of God; it rather affirms that the existence of something that satisfies the predicates defining the concept of God.

To be a little bit clearer, existence is not a property (in, say, the way that being red is a property of an apple).

Rather it is a precondition for the instantiation of properties in the following sense: it is not possible for a non-existent thing to instantiate any properties because there is nothing to which, so to speak, a property can stick. To say that x instantiates a property P is hence to presuppose that x exists.

Let’s try looking at some of the main criticisms of why this argument is no longer considered valid and popular.

Even in Anselm’s day, the argument had its critics.


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