Kant, Spinoza, and the Metaphysics of the Ontological Proof

Metaphysica 11 (1):17-37 (2010)
Abstract
This paper provides an interpretation and evaluation of Spinoza's highly original version of the ontological proof in terms of the concept of substance instead of the concept of perfection in the first book of his Ethics. Taking the lead from Kant'€™s critique of ontological arguments in the Critique of Pure Reason, the paper explores the underlying ontological and epistemological presuppositions of Spinoza'€™s proof. The main topics of consideration are the nature of Spinoza's definitions, the way he conceives of the relation between a substance and its essence, and his conception of existence. Once clarity is shed upon these fundamental issues, it becomes possible to address the proof in its own terms. It is then easy to see that Kant's objections miss their target and that the same is true of those advanced by another of the ontological argument'€™s most famous critics, Bertrand Russell. Finally, several interpretations of Spinoza'€™s proof are proposed and critically evaluated; on all of them, the argument turns out to be either invalid or question-begging.
Keywords Kant  Russell  Spinoza  Ontological argument  Ideas  Possibilities
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,999
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Willis Doney (1980). Spinoza's Ontological Proof. In Richard Kennington (ed.), The Philosophy of Baruch Spinoza. Catholic University of America Press.
William A. Earle (1951). The Ontological Argument in Spinoza. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 11 (4):549-554.
Don Garrett (1979). Spinoza's "Ontological" Argument. Philosophical Review 88 (2):198-223.

View all 13 references

Citations of this work BETA
Similar books and articles
Martin Lin (2007). Spinoza's Arguments for the Existence of God. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):269-297.
Cecilia Wee (2012). Descartes's Ontological Proof of God's Existence. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (1):23 - 40.
Gregor Damschen (2011). Questioning Gödel's Ontological Proof: Is Truth Positive? European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 3 (1):161-169.
Olli Koistinen (2003). Spinoza's Proof of Necessitarianism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (2):283–310.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-09-13

Total downloads

32 ( #54,037 of 1,101,116 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

9 ( #22,982 of 1,101,116 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.