The Ontological Argument as an Exercise in Cartesian Therapy

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 35 (4):521 - 562 (2005)

Authors
Lawrence Nolan
California State University, Long Beach
Abstract
I argue that Descartes intended the so-called ontological "argument" as a self-validating intuition, rather than as a formal proof. The textual evidence for this view is highly compelling, but the strongest support comes from understanding Descartes's diagnosis for why God's existence is not 'immediately' self-evident to everyone and the method of analysis that he develops for making it self-evident. The larger aim of the paper is to use the ontological argument as a case study of Descartes's nonformalist theory of deduction and his method of analysis, showing how he conceives the latter as a form of philosophical therapy.
Keywords Ontological Argument  René Descartes  Analytic Method  God  Existence  Philosophical Therapy  Distinction
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ISBN(s) 0045-5091
DOI 10.1080/00455091.2005.10716601
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References found in this work BETA

The Senses and the Fleshless Eye: The Meditations as Cognitive Exercises.Gary Hatfield - 1986 - In Amelie Rorty (ed.), Essays on Descartes' Meditations. University of California Press. pp. 45–76.
Descartes’s Theory of Distinction.Paul Hoffman - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (1):57-78.
Descartes' Metaphysical Physics.Abraham Anderson - 1992 - Philosophical Quarterly 44 (174):101-109.

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