Analytic Philosophy 57 (4):338-352 (2016)
This paper attacks the modal ontological argument, as advocated by Plantinga among others. Whereas other criticisms in the literature reject one of its premises, the present line is that the argument is invalid. This becomes apparent once we run the argument assuming fictionalism about possible worlds. Broadly speaking, the problem is that if one defines “x” as something that exists, it does not follow that there is anything satisfying the definition. Yet unlike non-modal ontological arguments, the modal argument commits this “existential fallacy” not in relation to the definition of ‘God’. Rather, it occurs in relation to the modal facts quantified over within a Kripkean modal logic. In brief, we can describe the modal facts by whichever logic we prefer—yet it does not follow that there are genuine modal facts, as opposed to mere facts-according-to-the-fiction. A broader consequence of the discussion is that the existential fallacy is an issue for many projects in “armchair metaphysics.”
|Keywords||Atheism-Theism debate Modal Fictionalism Applied Modal Logic Apriori Metaphysics|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
Main Trends in Recent Philosophy: Two Dogmas of Empiricism.W. V. Quine - 1951 - Philosophical Review 60 (1):20--43.
A Completeness Theorem in Modal Logic.Saul A. Kripke - 1959 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 24 (1):1-14.
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