Philo 7 (1):47-56 (2004)
Although most agree that St. Anselm’s ontological argument is problematic, there is no consensus as to what, exactly, is the flaw in the argument. In this essay, I propose what I take to be a novel criticism of the argument. Specifically, I claim that Anselm is guilty of an equivocation in his use of the word “God,” using it sometimes to refer to a being and sometimes to refer to a concept. Any attempt to remove this equivocation, I show, is doomed to failure; it is impossible to render the argument (or some version thereof) sound
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