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


Abstract
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
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DOI 10.1007/s11153-008-9166-9
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References found in this work BETA

Language, Truth and Logic.A. J. Ayer - 1936 - London: V. Gollancz.
Critique of Pure Reason.I. Kant - 1787/1998 - Philosophy 59 (230):555-557.

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