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  1. Plantinga's Ontological Argument.Leslie Allan - manuscript
    The ontological argument for the existence of God has enjoyed a recent renaissance among philosophers of religion. Alvin Plantinga's modal version is perhaps the most notable example. This essay critically examines Plantinga's rendition, uncovering both its strengths and weaknesses. The author concludes that while the argument is probably formally valid, it is ultimately unsound. Nonetheless, Plantinga's version has generated much interest and discussion. The author spends some time uncovering the reasons for the argument's powerful intuitive appeal. He concludes his essay (...)
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  2. What Part of Fides Quaerens Don’T You Intellectum ? On the Persistent Philosophical Misunderstanding of Anselm’s Ontological Argument.Derek A. Michaud - manuscript
    A *very* rough draft of a paper on Anselm's "ontological argument" in which I argue that the argument in the Proslogion rests on a robust notion of having "that then which nothing greater can be thought" in one's mind.
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  3. Biting Gaunilo's Bullet.Peter A. Sutton - manuscript
    Gaunilo assumes that there is no greatest conceivable island, and most philosophers have followed him in this assumption. But the option was open for Anselm (and remains open for us) to bite the bullet and ‘give him his island.’ I argue that such a response is perfectly reasonable for a Platonist like Anselm, and that even a theist who isn’t a Platonist can tolerate the island as a fairly minor addition his or her ontology.
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  4. Mechanized analysis of Anselm’s modal ontological argument.John Rushby - 2021 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 89 (2):135-152.
    We use a mechanized verification system, PVS, to examine the argument from Anselm’s Proslogion Chapter III, the so-called “Modal Ontological Argument.” We consider several published formalizations for the argument and show they are all essentially similar. Furthermore, we show that the argument is trivial once the modal axioms are taken into account. This work is an illustration of Computational Philiosophy and, in addition, shows how these methods can help detect and rectify errors in modal reasoning.
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  5. What Ontological Arguments Don’T Show.Mylan Engel - 2020 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 88 (1):97-114.
    Daniel Dombrowski contends that: a number of versions of the ontological argument [OA] are sound; the deity whose existence is most well established by the OA is the deity picked out by Hartshorne’s neoclassical concept of God; skeptics who insist that the OA only shows that “if God exists, then God exists necessarily” are contradicting themselves, and the OA is worth a great deal since it effectively demonstrates the rationality of theism. I argue that theses and are clearly false and (...)
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  6. Maximal God: A New Defence of Perfect Being Theism, by Yujin Nagasawa. [REVIEW]Andrew M. Bailey - 2019 - Faith and Philosophy 36 (2):275-279.
  7. Book Review: The Greatest Possible Being by Jeff Speaks. [REVIEW]Katherin Rogers - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 11 (4):213-219.
  8. The Economy of Salvation.Derek Brown - 2018 - Philosophy and Theology 30 (2):383-405.
    This paper extends Jean-Luc Nancy’s engagement with St. Anselm. Specifically, while Nancy is primarily concerned with Anselm’s Proslogion, this paper brings Nancy’s deconstructive protocols to bear on Anselm’s Cur Deus Homo. Of particular interest is Nancy’s treatment of the semiological association of economics and metaphysics. Ultimately, the “supplemental logic” developed here allows us to read Anselm’s dependence on the category of debt in the context of prayer. Finally, by stressing Nancy’s reception of French literary theory and poststructuralism, this paper offers (...)
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  9. On the Inherent Incoherence of Gaunilo's Island.Edgar Danielyan - 2018 - Heythrop Journal.
    Various attempts have been made to save Gaunilo's ‘ideal’ island by proposing different criteria for its maximal greatness or perfection. This paper addresses a recent proposal that ‘an ideal island is conceivable if it's defined as any island exhibiting an ideal ratio of great‐making island properties’ (Milo Crimi, ‘Ideally sized islands: Reply to Danielyan, Garrett and Plantinga’, Analysis 77 (2), 273‐278) and shows that it fails because the idea of an island – indeed, of anything that is finite, delineated and (...)
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  10. Review of Yujin Nagasawa, Maximal God: A New Defence of Perfect Being Theism: Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, Hb, ISBN: 978-0198758686, Xiii+225 Pp. [REVIEW]Graham Oppy - 2018 - Sophia 57 (1):189-191.
  11. Losing the Lost Island.Thomas Ward - 2018 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 83 (1):127-134.
    Gaunilo’s Lost Island Objection to Anselm’s Ontological Argument aims to show that if Anselm’s argument can establish the existence of a greatest conceivable being then a very similar argument can establish the existence of a greatest conceivable island. The challenge for the defender of Anselm is to identify the relevant disanalogy between Anselm’s argument and Gaunilo’s, in order to explain why Anselm’s can succeed while Gaunilo’s fails. In this essay I take up this challenge. Reflection on the differences between the (...)
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  12. Monotonic and Non-Monotonic Embeddings of Anselm’s Proof.Jacob Archambault - 2017 - Logica Universalis 11 (1):121-138.
    A consequence relation \ is monotonic iff for premise sets \ and conclusion \, if \, \, then \; and non-monotonic if this fails in some instance. More plainly, a consequence relation is monotonic when whatever is entailed by a premise set remains entailed by any of its supersets. From the High Middle Ages through the Early Modern period, consequence in theology is assumed to be monotonic. Concomitantly, to the degree the argument formulated by Anselm at Proslogion 2–4 is taken (...)
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  13. Anselm's God in Isabelle/HOL.Ben Blumson - 2017 - Archive of Formal Proofs:9.
    Paul Oppenheimer and Edward Zalta's formalisation of Anselm's ontological argument for the existence of God is automated by embedding a free logic for definite descriptions within Isabelle/HOL.
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  14. The Prior-von Wright Debate on Anselm's Argument for the Existence of God.David Jakobsen & Peter Øhrstrøm - 2017 - In Ilkka Niiniluoto & Thomas Wallgren (eds.), On the Human Condition : Philosophical Essays in Honour of the Centennial Anniversary of Georg Henrik von Wright. Helsingfors, Finland: pp. 255-267.
    Arthur Norman Prior (1914 – 1969) and Georg Henrik von Wright (1916 – 2003) both attended a conference in England sometime in the spring of 1956, after which they corresponded on Anselm’s ontological argument. Prior had at the conference presented a formal treatment of the ontological argument. Based upon notes from the Prior archive at the Bodleian Library, and correspondence with von Wright, we here presents Prior’s and von Wrights’ discussion of Anselm’s argument in light of Prior’s published, as well (...)
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  15. Uma Avaliação Do Argumento Ontológico Modal de Plantinga.Domingos Faria - 2016 - Kairos 15 (1):71-84.
    My aim in this paper is to critically assess Plantinga’s modal ontological argument for existence of God, such as it is presented in the book “The Nature of Necessity”. Plantinga tries to show that this argument is valid and it is rational to believe in his main premise, namely “there is a possible world in which maximal greatness is instantiated”. On the one hand, I want to show that this argument is logically valid in both systems B and S5 of (...)
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  16. On Behalf of St Anselm.Edgar Danielyan - 2015 - Analysis 75 (3):405-407.
    Brian Garrett claims, in defence of Gaunilo’s Perfect Island and contra Plantinga, that ‘Properly understood, the great-making qualities of an island are maximal’. This article demonstrates that they are not, thus ‘the greatest conceivable island’ remains an incoherent concept and Gaunilo’s parody fails.
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  17. A Simplified Ontological Argument and Fictional Entities.Gianluca Di Muzio - 2015 - Think 14 (40):101-107.
    This paper shows that a recent, simplified version of St. Anselm's proof of the existence of God has its flank open to Gaunilo's objection. Reformulating Anselm's line of reasoning in terms of the distinction between mediated and unmediated causal powers, as the simplified proof does, makes it harder for Anselm's supporters to refute the objection that the ontological argument absurdly entails the existence of all kinds of fictional entities.
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  18. Ontological Arguments.Graham Oppy - 2014 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Latest version of my SEP entry on ontological arguments, which first appeared in 1996. General discussion of ontological arguments. Includes a brief historical overview, a taxonomy of different kinds of ontological arguments, a brief survey of objections to the different kinds of ontological arguments identified in the taxonomy, and more extended discussions of Anselm's ontological argument (Proslogion 2), Godel's ontological argument, and Plantinga's ontological argument.
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  19. God, Mind, and Logical Space: A Revisionary Approach to Divinity.István Aranyosi - 2013 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    In God, Mind and Logical Space István Aranyosi takes the reader on a journey for the mind by revisiting the fundamental questions and the everlasting debates in philosophy of religion, ontology, and the philosophy of mind. The first part deals with issues in ontology, and the author puts forward a radical view according to which all thinkable objects and states of affairs have an equal claim to existence in a way that renders existence a relative notion. In the second part (...)
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  20. Updating Anselm Again.Lynne Rudder Baker - 2013 - Res Philosophica 90 (1):23-32.
    I set out four general facts about things that we can refer to and talk about, whether they exist or not. Then, I set out an argument for the existence of God. Myargument, like Anselm’s original argument, is a reductio ad absurdum: It shows that the assumption that God does not exist leads to a contradiction. Theargument is short and in ordinary language. Each line of the argument, other than the reductio premise, is justified by one of the general facts. (...)
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  21. Wittgenstein i zagadka Anzelma.Jakub Gomułka - 2013 - Analiza I Egzystencja 23:71-98.
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  22. The Ontological Argument: Past, Present, and Future?Shaun Smith - 2013 - Sententias.
    This article serves to explore the historical development of the ontological argument from Anselm to Present. Initially, the main goal is to introduce the lay reader to one of the most perplexing arguments for the theistic conception of God. Logically, this is an a priori argument, similar to one of a mathematical proof. Oddly, the argument has sort of fallen out of place in contemporary philosophy, apart from a reboot from Alvin Plantinga. The goal is to illustrate that the initial (...)
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  23. Anselmian Theism and Indefinitely Extensible Perfection.Einar Duenger Bohn - 2012 - Philosophical Quarterly 62 (249):671-683.
    The Anselmian Thesis is the thesis that God is that than which nothing greater can be thought. In this paper, I argue that such a notion of God is incoherent due to greatness being indefinitely extensible: roughly, for any great being that can be, there is another one that is greater, so there cannot be a being than which nothing greater can be. Someone will say that it is impossible to produce the best, because there is no perfect creature, and (...)
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  24. Response to Maydole.Graham Oppy - 2012 - In Miroslaw Szatkowski (ed.), Ontological Proofs Today. Bydgoszcz: Ontos Verlag. pp. 445-68.
    This paper is my second contribution to the Szatkowski volume. In the first paper, I provide a critical discussion of Bob Maydole's ontological arguments. In this second paper, I respond to Maydole's critical response to my first paper. My overall verdict is that Maydole does not successfully defend his arguments against my critical attack.
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  25. Pruss, Motivational Centrality, and Probabilities Attached to Possibility Premises in Modal Ontological Arguments.Graham Oppy - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 4 (2):65-85.
    This paper is a critique of a paper by Alex Pruss. I argue that Pruss's attempt to motivate acceptance of the key possiblity premise in modal ontological arguments fails.
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  26. Anselm’s Ontological Argument and Aristotle’s Elegktikōs Apodeixai.Michael Oliver Wiitala - 2012 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 86:129-140.
    Saint Anselm’s ontological argument is usually interpreted either (1) as an attempt to deductively prove God’s existence or (2) as a form of prayer, which is not intended to “prove” God’s existence, but rather to deepen the devotion of those who already believe. In this paper I attempt to find a mean between these two interpretations, showing that while Anselm’s argument is not a deductive proof, it is nevertheless a proof of God’s existence. I argue that Anselm’s ontological argument is (...)
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  27. The Relevance of Kant's Objection to Anselm's Ontological Argument.Chris Heathwood - 2011 - Religious Studies 47 (3):345-357.
    The most famous objection to the ontological argument is given in Kant's dictum that existence is not a real predicate. But it is not obvious how this slogan is supposed to relate to the ontological argument. Some, most notably Alvin Plantinga, have even judged Kant's dictum to be totally irrelevant to Anselm's version of the ontological argument. In this paper I argue, against Plantinga and others, that Kant's claim is indeed relevant to Anselm's argument, in the straightforward sense that if (...)
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  28. On Behalf of the Fool.G. Oppy - 2011 - Analysis 71 (2):304-306.
    This paper responds to a previous paper by Gary Matthews and Lynne Rudder Baker. Their paper, in turn, was a response to my reply to an even earlier paper of theirs. (The relevant bibliographical details are in this paper.) They claim to have a new, improved, simple ontological argument. I argue that the new, simple ontological argument is not, in any way, improved.
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  29. Objection to a Simplified Ontological Argument.G. Oppy - 2011 - Analysis 71 (1):105-106.
    This paper offers a short extension of the dialogue between Anselm and the Fool that is contained in "The Ontological Argument Simplified" by Gary Matthews and Lynne Rudder Baker. My extension of the dialogue ends with the Fool proclaiming that "what looks like an argument of elegant simplicity turns out to be no argument at all".
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  30. Anselm and the Ontological Argument.Graham Oppy - 2011 - In Jeff Jordan (ed.), Philosophy of Religion: The Key Thinkers. London: Continuum. pp. 22-43.
    This chapter gives an exposition and critique of Anselm's Proslogion II argument.
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  31. The Lost Legacy of Anselm's Argument: Re-Thinking the Purpose of Proofs for the Existence of God.Lydia Schumacher - 2011 - Modern Theology 27 (1):87-101.
    In his?Proslogion?, Anselm presents a proof for God?s existence which has attracted a tremendous amount of scholarly attention. In spite of all that has been said about this proof and proofs for God?s existence more generally, scholarly consensus seems to dissipate when it comes to determining whether theistic proofs are persuasive and sound. In this article, I will argue that there is a way to provide compelling proof for the existence of God. To substantiate this claim, I will not attempt (...)
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  32. The Ontological Argument and Objects of Thought.Edward Wierenga - 2011 - Philosophic Exchange 42 (1):82-103.
    Is there anything new to be said about Anselm's ontological argument? Recent work by Lynne Baker and Gareth Matthews raises some interesting and important questions about the argument. First, Anselm's argument is set in the context of a prayer to God, whose existence Anselm seeks to prove. Is that peculiar or paradoxical? Does it imply that Anselm's prayer is insincere? Baker and Matthews have offered a novel interpretation of Anselm's argument, designed to solve a crucial problem with it. Does their (...)
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  33. The Ontological Argument Revisited: A Reply to Rowe.Eric Wilson - 2010 - Forum Philosophicum: International Journal for Philosophy 15 (1):37 - 44.
    Saint Anselm’s ontological argument is perhaps the most intriguing of all the traditional speculative proofs for the existence of God. Yet, his argument has been rejected outright by many philosophers. Most challenges stem from the basic conviction that no amount of logical analysis of a concept that is limited to the bounds of the "understanding" will ever be able to "reason" the existence in "reality" of any thing answering such a limited concept. However, it is not the intent of this (...)
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  34. Gottesbeweis oder Gedankenexperiment christlicher Theologie? Zu Dombrowskis Verteidigung des Ontologischen Arguments.Yiftach J. H. Fehige - 2009 - Jahrbuch für Religionsphilosophie 8:69-91.
    In this paper I argue that Daniel A. Dombrowski's defence of a version of Anselm's ontological argument fails.
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  35. Thought Experimenting with God. Revisiting the Ontological Argument.Yiftach J. H. Fehige - 2009 - Neue Zeitschrift für Systematicsche Theologie Und Religionsphilosophie 51 (3):249-267.
    The ontological argument is one of the most intriguing lines of reasoning in Western thought. Leaving behind debates over the proper relation between science and religion, it makes a simple move from conceptual analysis to existence in order to prove the existence of god. The ontological argument will be reviewed against the background of the contemporary debate on thought experiments. Assuming that the ontological argument fails as a philosophical proof, I will argue that its move from concept to existence might (...)
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  36. Pruss's Ontological Arguments.Graham Oppy - 2009 - Religious Studies 45 (3):355-363.
    First, I suggest that it is possible to make some further improvements upon the Gödelian ontological arguments that Pruss develops. Then, I argue that it is possible to parody Pruss's Gödelian ontological arguments in a way that shows that they make no contribution towards 'lowering the probability of atheism and raising the probability of theism'. I conclude with some remarks about ways in which the arguments of this paper can be extended to apply to the whole family of Gödelian ontological (...)
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  37. Anselm's First Argument.Graham Oppy - 2009 - In Charles Tandy (ed.), Death and Anti-Death, Volume 7. Palo Alto, CA, USA: Ria University Press. pp. 275-96.
    In Proslogion II, Anselm writes: "But surely when this same Fool hears what I am speaking about, namely ‘something-than-which-nothing-greater-can-be-thought’, he understands what he hears, and what he understands is in his mind, even if he does not understand that it actually exists. … Even the Fool, then, is forced to agree that something-than-which-nothing-greater-can-be-thought exists in the mind, since he understands this when he hears it, and whatever is understood is in the mind." In this paper, I provide a careful analysis (...)
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  38. God Versus the Multiverse: An Ontological Argument Against the Existence of a Supreme Being: With a Hopeful Alternative.R. Michael Perry - 2009 - In Death and Anti-Death, Volume 7: Nine Hundred Years After St. Anselm (1033-1109). Ria University Press.
    Anselm’s ontological argument for the existence of God is examined. It is concluded that Anselm errs in assuming the greatest "thing" must be a sentient being. The existence of God, then, is not established by Anselm’s argument, and is concluded to be unlikely for other reasons as well, one being that a perfected sentient being would be a logical impossibility. An afterlife and personal immortality are not precluded however; these goals could be reached by future scientific means. For now cryonics (...)
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  39. Anselm of Canterbury.Thomas Williams - 2009 - In Graham Robert Oppy & Nick Trakakis (eds.), The History of Western Philosophy of Religion. Oxford University Press. pp. II: 73-84.
    Anselm on faith seeking understanding, "the reason of faith," and the Monologion and Proslogion arguments for the existence of God.
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  40. Review: Daniel A. Dombrowski: Rethinking the Ontological Argument: A Neoclassical Theistic Response. [REVIEW]G. Oppy - 2008 - Mind 117 (467):690-693.
    Critical review of Daniel Dombrowski's "Rethinking the Ontological Argument".
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  41. The Ontological Argument.Graham Oppy - 2008 - In Paul Copan & Chad V. Meister (eds.), Philosophy of Religion: Classic and Contemporary Issues. Oxford UK: Blackwell.
    General discussion of ontological arguments. (Extended the discussion of ontological arguments in the then current version of my SEP entry on ontological arguments.).
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  42. Higher-Order Ontological Arguments.Graham Oppy - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (5):1066-1078.
    This paper discusses recent work on higher-order ontological arguments, including work on arguments due to Gödel, Maydole and Pruss. After setting out a range of these arguments, the paper seeks to highlight the principal difficulties that these kinds of arguments confront. One important aim of the paper is to cast light on Gödel's ontological argument by way of an examination of a range of related higher-order arguments.
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  43. Returning Barth to Anselm.Timothy Stanley - 2008 - Modern Theology 24 (3):413-437.
    This article focuses on Barth's explication of Anselm's Proslogion 2-4 in his book on Anselm and attempts to show how Anselm helped clarify for Barth the ontological nature of his own early theology, in particular what he meant by the “is” in his affirmation “God is God.” My contention is that Barth's continual pointing to Anselm's Fides Quaerens Intellectum as a vital key to his own theology should not be overlooked. In fact, I argue that only by returning Barth to (...)
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  44. An Outline of the Anselmian Theory of God.Tomasz Jarmużek, Maciej Nowicki & Andrzej Pietruszczak - 2006 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 91 (1):317-330.
    The article presents a formalization of Anselm's so-called Ontological Arguments from Proslogion . The main idea of our research is to stay to the original text as close as is possible. We show, against some common opinions, that (i) the logic necessary for the formalization must be neither a purely sentential modal calculus, nor just non-modal first-order logic, but a modal first-order theory; (ii) such logic cannot contain logical axiom ⌜ A → ⋄ A ⌝; (iii) none of Anselm's reasonings (...)
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  45. The Relation of Monologion and Proslogion.Gene Fendt - 2005 - Heythrop Journal 46 (2):149–166.
    This paper argues that Monologion and Proslogion though distinguishable are not really separable. They are distinct as "the way in" and "the way when one is in" but "the way in" reveals itself as a discovery of already being in; thus these ways are distinct in act, but not in being. Monologion moves from imaginary ignorance to real reverence, while Proslogion begins within reverence to achieve understanding.
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  46. Anselm's Neglected Argument.Brian Leftow - 2002 - Philosophy 77 (3):331-347.
    Anselm is commonly credited with two a priori arguments for God's existence, the non-modal argument of Proslogion 2 and a modal argument some find in Proslogion 3. But his Reply to Gaunilo contains a third. The argument as Anselm gives it has flaws, but they are not fatal, and its main premise can serve as the basis of a simpler, stronger argument.
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  47. Reply to Langtry.Graham Oppy - 2001 - Sophia 40 (1):73-80.
    This paper is a response to Bruce Langtry's criticisms of views advanced in my book *Ontological Arguments and Belief in God*. In particular, the paper discusses his criticisms of "the general objection" to ontological arguments that is developed in that work.
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  48. Arguing Anselm's Argument.John Overton - 2001 - Modern Theology 17 (1):3-19.
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  49. Response to Gettings.G. Oppy - 2000 - Analysis 60 (4):363-367.
    This article is a reply to Michael Gettings' criticisms of a previous paper of mine on Godel's ontological argument. (All relevant bibliographical details may be found in the article.) I provide a patch to my previous -- faulty -- attempt to provide a parody of Godel's ontological argument on the model of Gaunilo's parody of Anselm's Proslogion 2 argument.
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  50. Ontological Arguments and Belief in God. [REVIEW]Graham Oppy - 1998 - Philosophical Quarterly 48 (193):553-555.
    Review of Graham Oppy *Ontological Arguments and Belief in God* (CUP).
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