The actual challenge for the ontological argument

Analysis 82 (2):222-230 (2022)
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Many versions of the ontological argument have two shortcomings: First, despite the arguments put forward, for example, by Hugh Chandler and Nathan Salmon, they assume that S5 is the correct modal logic for metaphysical modality. Second, despite the classical arguments put forward, for example, by David Hume and Immanuel Kant or the more recent arguments put forward, for example, by John Findlay and Richard Swinburne, they assume that necessary existence is possible. The aim of the paper is to develop an alternative version of the ontological argument that, by an appeal to the logic of ‘actually’, avoids these two shortcomings. The version helps to leave aside unnecessary debates about the modal logic S5 or about the possibility of necessary existence and to focus on the actual challenge for the debate about the ontological argument: the challenge to evaluate the claim that it is possible that God exists.



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Citations of this work

Ontological arguments.Graham Oppy - 2014 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Modal Ontological Arguments.Gregory R. P. Stacey - 2023 - Philosophy Compass 18 (8):e12938.

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References found in this work

The Nature of Necessity.Alvin Plantinga - 1974 - Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
Modal science.Timothy Williamson - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):453-492.
The Logic of What Might Have Been.Nathan Salmon - 1989 - Philosophical Review 98 (1):3-34.
Necessary Existence.Alexander R. Pruss & Joshua L. Rasmussen - 2018 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Edited by Joshua L. Rasmussen.
How Deep is the Distinction between A Priori and A Posteriori Knowledge?Timothy Williamson - 2013 - In Albert Casullo & Joshua C. Thurow (eds.), The a Priori in Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press UK. pp. 291-312.

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