The relevance of Kant's objection to Anselm's ontological argument

Religious Studies 47 (3):345-357 (2011)
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Abstract

The most famous objection to the ontological argument is given in Kant's dictum that existence is not a real predicate. But it is not obvious how this slogan is supposed to relate to the ontological argument. Some, most notably Alvin Plantinga, have even judged Kant's dictum to be totally irrelevant to Anselm's version of the ontological argument. In this paper I argue, against Plantinga and others, that Kant's claim is indeed relevant to Anselm's argument, in the straightforward sense that if the claim is true, then Anselm's argument is unsound.

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Chris Heathwood
University of Colorado, Boulder

References found in this work

The Nature of Necessity.Alvin Plantinga - 1974 - Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
Critique of pure reason.Immanuel Kant - 1781/1998 - In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Blackwell. pp. 449-451.
Critique of Pure Reason.Wolfgang Schwarz - 1966 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 26 (3):449-451.
God, freedom, and evil.Alvin Plantinga - 1978 - Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
Anselm and actuality.David K. Lewis - 1970 - Noûs 4 (2):175-188.

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