David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
International Journal of Philosophical Studies 10 (1):35 – 62 (2002)
In this paper, I argue that commentators have missed a significant clue given by Descartes in coming to understand his 'ontological' proof for the existence of God. In both the analytic and synthetic presentations of the proof throughout his writings, Descartes notes that the proof works 'in the same way' as a particular geometrical proof. I explore the significance of such a parallel, and conclude that Descartes could not have intended readers to think that the argument consists of some kind of intuition. I argue that for Descartes the attribute of existence is a 'second-order' attribute that is demonstrated to belong to the idea of God on the basis of 'first-order' attributes. The proof, properly understood, is in fact a demonstration. Having brought to light the geometrical parallels between the ontological and geometrical proofs, we have new evidence to resolve the 'intuition versus demonstration' controversy that has characterized much of the discussion of Descartes's ontological argument
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Michael Jacovides (2007). How Is Descartes' Argument Against Scepticism Better Than Putnam's? Philosophical Quarterly 57 (229):593 - 612.
Martin Lin (2007). Spinoza's Arguments for the Existence of God. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):269-297.
Georges Dicker (1993). Descartes: An Analytical and Historical Introduction. Oxford University Press.
Lawrence Nolan (1997). The Ontological Status of Cartesian Natures. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 78 (2):169–194.
James Patrick Downey (1987). Commentary on “The Possibility of God”. Faith and Philosophy 4 (2):202-206.
John Edward Abbruzzese (2008). Do Descartes and St. Thomas Agree on the Ontological Proof? Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (4):413-435.
Cecilia Wee (2012). Descartes's Ontological Proof of God's Existence. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (1):23 - 40.
Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2009). Thought Experimenting with God. Revisiting the Ontological Argument. Neue Zeitschrift Für Systematische Theologie Und Religionsphilosophie 51 (3):249-267.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads38 ( #53,754 of 1,679,398 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #78,649 of 1,679,398 )
How can I increase my downloads?