How is the question 'is existence a predicate?' Relevant to the ontological argument?

It is often said that the ontological argument fails because it wrongly treats existence as a first-level property or predicate. This has proved a controversial claim, and efforts to evaluate it are complicated by the fact that the words ‘existence is not a property/predicate’ have been used by philosophers to make at least three different negative claims: (a) one about a first-level phenomenon possessed by objects like horses, stones, you and me; (b) another about the logical form of assertions of existence; and (c) still another about a second-level phenomenon possessed by concepts when they are instantiated. I argue that only the last of these claims, originally voiced by Kant, is both plausible and relevant to the ontological argument. And I try to show that the relevance of the Kantian version comes from its providing the underlying justification for a different, and far less controversial, criticism of the ontological argument.
Keywords God  Ontological argument  Existence  Predicates  Gassendi  Kant  Caterus objection
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/40270223
 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: 15,831
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
I. Kant (1984). Critique of Pure Reason. Philosophy 59 (230):555-557.

View all 22 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

83 ( #35,096 of 1,724,865 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

13 ( #53,058 of 1,724,865 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

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