Philosophy 50 (193):271-281 (1975)

Philip Devine
Providence College
The following objection to the ‘ontological’ argument of St Anselm has a continuing importance. The argument begs the question by introducing into the first premise the name ‘God’. In order for something to be truly talked about, to have properties truly attributed to it—it has been said—it must exist; a statement containing a vacuous name must either be false, meaningless, or lacking in truth-value, if it is not a misleading formulation to be explained by paraphrase into other terms. In any case the question of the divine existence is begged
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DOI 10.1017/S0031819100025110
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