Formal reconstructions of St. Anselm’s ontological argument

Synthese 192 (9):2795-2825 (2015)
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In this paper, we discuss formal reconstructions of Anselm’s ontological argument. We first present a number of requirements that any successful reconstruction should meet. We then offer a detailed preparatory study of the basic concepts involved in Anselm’s argument. Next, we present our own reconstructions—one in modal logic and one in classical logic—and compare them with each other and with existing reconstructions from the reviewed literature. Finally, we try to show why and how one can gain a better understanding of Anselm’s argument by using modern formal logic. In particular, we try to explain why formal reconstructions of the argument, despite its apparent simplicity, tend to become quite involved



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Author Profiles

Esther Ramharter
University of Vienna
Günther Eder
University of Vienna

Citations of this work

On Anselm’s Ontological Argument in Proslogion II.Paul E. Oppenheimer & Edward N. Zalta - 2021 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 25 (2):327-351.
The totality of predicates and the possibility of the most real being.Srećko Kovač - 2018 - Journal of Applied Logics - The IfCoLog Journal of Logics and Their Applications 5 (7):1523-1552.
Mechanized analysis of Anselm’s modal ontological argument.John Rushby - 2020 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 89 (2):135-152.

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References found in this work

The Nature of Necessity.Alvin Plantinga - 1974 - Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
On Denoting.Bertrand Russell - 1905 - Mind 14 (56):479-493.
Arguing About Gods.Graham Robert Oppy - 2006 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Anselm and actuality.David K. Lewis - 1970 - Noûs 4 (2):175-188.

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