The ontological argument simplified

Analysis 70 (2):210-212 (2010)

Lynne Rudder Baker
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
The ontological argument in Anselm’s Proslogion II continues to generate a remarkable store of sophisticated commentary and criticism. However, in our opinion, much of this literature ignores or misrepresents the elegant simplicity of the original argument. The dialogue below seeks to restore that simplicity, with one important modification. Like the original, it retains the form of a reductio, which we think is essential to the argument’s great genius. However, it seeks to skirt the difficult question of whether 'exists' is a genuine predicate by appealing instead to a distinction between having only mediated causal powers and having unmediated causal powers. Pegasus has no unmediated causal powers, but he has mediated causal powers through the thoughts, depictions, and literature in which he figures. This distinction allows us to argue about the existence of God without begging any questions.
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DOI 10.1093/analys/anp164
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References found in this work BETA

Arguing About Gods.Graham Oppy - 2006 - Cambridge University Press.
On the Logic of the Ontological Argument.Paul E. Oppenheimer & Edward N. Zalta - 1991 - Philosophical Perspectives 5:509-529.
Millican on the Ontological Argument.Yujin Nagasawa - 2007 - Mind 116 (464):1027-1040.

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Citations of this work BETA

Updating Anselm Again.Lynne Rudder Baker - 2013 - Res Philosophica 90 (1):23-32.
Reply to Oppy's Fool.G. B. Matthews & L. R. Baker - 2011 - Analysis 71 (2):303-303.
On Behalf of the Fool.G. Oppy - 2011 - Analysis 71 (2):304-306.

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