Necessary existents

In A. O'Hear (ed.), Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement. Cambridge University Press. pp. 269-87 (2002)
It seems obvious that I could have failed to exist. My parents could easily never have met, in which case I should never have been conceived and born. The like applies to everyone. More generally, it seems plausible that whatever exists in space and time could have failed to exist. Events could have taken an utterly different course. Our existence, like most other aspects of our lives, appears frighteningly contingent. It is therefore surprising that there is a proof of my necessary existence, a proof that generalizes to everything whatsoever. I will explain the proof and discuss what to make of it. A first reaction is that a ‘proof’ of such an outrageous conclusion must contain some dreadful fallacy. Yet the proof does not collapse under scrutiny. Further reflection suggests that, suitably interpreted, it may be sound. So interpreted, the conclusion is not outrageous, although it may not be the view you first thought of.
Keywords nessecity, possibilia, existence
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DOI 10.1017/S1358246100008158
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