Perfection, near-perfection, maximality, and Anselmian Theism

Anselmian theists claim (a) that there is a being than which none greater can be conceived; and (b) that it is knowable on purely—solely, entirely—a priori grounds that there is a being than which none greater can be conceived. In this paper, I argue that Anselmian Theism gains traction by conflating different interpretations of the key description ‘being than which no greater can be conceived’. In particular, I insist that it is very important to distinguish between ideal excellence and maximal possible excellence. At the end of my paper, I illustrate the importance of this distinction by applying my discussion to the recent defence of Anselmian Theism in Nagasawa (Philos Q 58:577–591, 2008).
Keywords Anselmian Theism  God  Nagasawa  Ontological argument  Perfection
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DOI 10.1007/s11153-010-9268-z
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PhilPapers Archive Graham Oppy, Perfection, near-perfection, maximality, and Anselmian Theism
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References found in this work BETA
Yujin Nagasawa (2008). A New Defence of Anselmian Theism. Philosophical Quarterly 58 (233):577-596.

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Citations of this work BETA
Martin Lembke (2013). Whatever It is Better to Be Than Not to Be. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 74 (1):131-143.
Yujin Nagasawa (2011). Anselmian Theism. Philosophy Compass 6 (8):564-571.

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