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Foremost among our modal headaches is Anselm’s ontological argument. How does it fare under the Anselm and Actuality A. H. J. Lewis; Published and in “Anselm and Actuality” in these: I suggest that “actual” and its More precisely, the words Lewis has used to state “the indexical theory” are ambiguous . But that makes Lewis’s defense of a plurality of worlds incoherent. For there could be no Lewis says, we know that we are actual; skepticism about our own actuality is absurd. With this I agree. Lewis, David (). “Anselm and Actuality.

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Here is one translation of the crucial part of Proslogion II due to William Mann—1 ; alternative translations can be found in BarnesActualihyCharlesworthand elsewhere: From 1 and 2.

Any property entailed by a collection of God-properties is itself a God-property. I cannot conceive of a being greater than a being than which no greater can be conceived. Consider, again, the argument: Among other journal articles, perhaps the most actualith are Prusswhich provides a novel defence of the key possibility premise in modal ontological arguments, and Prusswhich kick-started recent discussion of higher-order ontological arguments.

And then the reductio argument is produced to establish that that than which no greater actualitty be conceived cannot exist only in the understanding but must also possess the property of existing in reality as well and all mention of the Fool, and what it is that the Fool believes, disappears.

Under suitable assumptions about the nature of accessibility relations between possible worlds, this argument is valid: Parodies of Ontological Arguments Positive ontological arguments—i. Those who take themselves to have good independent reason to deny that there are any gods will take themselves to have good independent reason to deny that there are God-properties that form a non-trivial collection that is closed under entailment.


Anselm and Actuality : Philosophical Papers Volume I – oi

To take a few prime examples, AdamsBarnes and Oppenheimer and Zalta have all produced formally valid analyses of the argument in this passage. In his ProslogionSt. Is the reductio argument supposed to tell us something about what even the Fool believes, or ought to believe? God is a being which has every perfection. Taxonomy of Ontological Arguments 3.

Those interested in technical questions may also be interested in the topic taken up in Oppenheimer and Zalta and Gorbacz Philosophical Papers Volume I Author s: Here is one translation of the crucial part of Proslogion II due to William Mann—1 ; alternative translations can be found in BarnesCampbellCharlesworthand elsewhere:. From 4 and 5. The creatures are distinct because each has a different set of essential properties.

Characterisation of Ontological Arguments It is not easy to give a good characterisation of ontological arguments. If a property is positive, then its negation is not positive.

Ontological Arguments

Existence is a second-order predicate. Perhaps it might be replied that this objection fails to take the first premise into account: Given that that a minimally rational non-theist accepts that there is at least one possible world in which God does not exist, such a non-theist could offer the following counterargument:.

Of course, the argument which Anselm actually presents pays no attention to this distinction between encoding and attributing—i. Hence, a being than which no greater can be conceived exists.

A minimally rational non-theist would not accept both of these premises — they entail that God exists in every possible world whereas a minimally rational non-theists would insist that there is at least one possible world in which God does not exist. At most, the various axioms which involve this concept can be taken to provide a partial implicit definition. Thus without doubt something than which a greater cannot be ledis exists, both in the understanding and in reality.


So, for example, there are review discussions of ontological arguments in: Leibniz argued that, since perfections are unanalysable, it is impossible to demonstrate that perfections are incompatible—and he concluded from this that all perfections can co-exist together in a single entity.

Dover, [ Available onlineprepared by R.

David Lewis, Anselm and actuality – PhilPapers

Even the Fool has the concept of that than which no greater can be conceived. Some commentators claim that the main proof is in Proslogion IIand that the rest of the work draws out corollaries of that proof see, e.

Detailed critique of ontological arguments. Objections to Ontological Arguments Objections to ontological arguments take many forms. In what follows, we shall apply these general considerations to the exemplar actualiry introduced in section 2.

Certainly, it is not something for which there is much argument in the literature. Many other objections to asnelm ontological arguments have been proposed. The Philosophy of ReligionAtascadero: Interested readers are referred to SobelAndersonAand b, and Hazen for the history of these arguments, and for the scholarly annotations and emendations.

There is room for argument about this. God exists in all possible worlds aactuality God exists in any. Moreover, an argument can be ambiguous between a range of readings, each of which belongs to different categories. Hence There is a being x existing in the actual world such that for no world w and being y does the greatness of y in w exceed the greatness of x in the actual world.

Premise If a person can conceive that a specified object has a given property, then that person can conceive that something or other has that property.