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: one about a first-level phenomenon possessed by objects like horses, stones, you and me; another about the logical form of assertions of existence; and 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 Philosophy
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11153-008-9166-9
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 39,626
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Critique of Pure Reason.I. Kant - 1787/1998 - Philosophy 59 (230):555-557.
Language, Truth and Logic.A. J. Ayer - 1936 - London: V. Gollancz.
Existence.Nathan Salmon - 1987 - Philosophical Perspectives 1:49-108.

View all 21 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Kant's Principles of Modality.Ian Blecher - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 26 (3):932-944.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

How is the Question 'is Existence a Predicate?' Relevant to the Ontological Argument?J. William Forgie - 2008 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 64 (3):117 - 133.
Alvin Plantinga on the Ontological Argument.William L. Rowe - 2009 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 65 (2):87 - 92.
Gassendi and Kant on Existence.William Forgie - 2007 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 45 (4):511 - 523.
Was Existence Ever a Predicate?Edgar Morscher - 1985 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 25:269-284.
The Ontological Argument and the Devil.Yujin Nagasawa - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (238):72-91.
Does Anselm Beg the Question?Keith Burgess-Jackson - 2014 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 76 (1):5-18.
Theological Necessity.George N. Schlesinger - 1997 - Religious Studies 33 (1):55-65.
"Exists" and St. Anselm's Argument.Philip E. Devine - 1977 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 3:59-70.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2014-03-12

Total views
15 ( #490,658 of 2,325,377 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #531,536 of 2,325,377 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature