Journal of the History of Philosophy 59 (4):583-606 (2021)

Authors
Dai Heide
Simon Fraser University
Abstract
Kant rejects the ontological argument on the grounds that the ontological argument inescapably must assume that existence is a “determination” or “real predicate,” which it is not. Most understand Kant’s argument for this claim to be premised upon his distinctive proto-Fregean theory of existence. But this leaves Kant dialectically vulnerable: the defender of the ontological argument can easily reject this as question-begging. I show that Kant relies upon two distinct arguments, both of which contend that the claim that existence is a determination is inconsistent with bedrock ontological set pieces assumed by rationalist defenders of the ontological argument.
Keywords Kant  Ontological argument  Modality  Existence  Creation  Rationalism  Baumgarten
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DOI 10.1353/hph.2021.0068
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