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Are there, in any respectable sense of “are,” some objects that do not exist? [20] But then if (12) is contingent, so is (11). And this claim is somehow connected with Kant’s famous but perplexing dictum that being (or existence) is not a real predicate or property. Consider a pair of beings A and B that both do in fact exist. The author concludes that while the argument is probably formally valid, it is ultimately unsound. It starts off boldly: “For any being x and world W, …” So (14) is talking about worlds and beings. [21] If this is what he means, he’s certainly right. (25) It is possible that there be a being that has maximal greatness. Given the logic Plantinga is working with, both premises cannot be accepted in the same argument. Kant seems to think that if the proposition in question were necessarily false, it would have to contradict, not a proposition, but some object external to God — or else contradict some internal part or aspect or property of God. This is the outcome of the whole medieval and Kantian criticism of the ontological proof.” I’ve argued above that “the whole medieval and Kantian criticism” of Anselm’s argument may be taken with a grain or two of salt. [28] So (13) [with the help of premises (14) and (15)] appears to imply (20), which, according to (21), is necessarily false. Anselm’s argument can be seen as an attempt to deduce an absurdity from the proposition that there is no God. Start by marking “The Ontological Argument” as Want to Read: Want to Read. The fact that this version is unsatisfactory does not show that every version is or must be. However, Plantinga’s version seems to avoid this (it doesn't, though). If so, what sorts of things are they? would have been an impossible proposition. Ontological argument, Argument that proceeds from the idea of God to the reality of God.It was first clearly formulated by St. Anselm in his Proslogion (1077–78); a later famous version is given by René Descartes.Anselm began with the concept of God as that than which nothing greater can be conceived. The earlier versions also depended on that assumption; consider for example, this step of the first version we considered: (18) So there is a possible being x and a world W’ such that the greatness of x in W’ exceeds the greatness of God in actuality. He seems to suggest that a nonexistent being would be greater than in fact it is, if it did exist. (reductio assumption), (2) Existence in reality is greater than existence in the understanding alone. Professors Charles Hartshorne and Norman Malcolm claim to detect two quite different versions of the argument in Anselm’s work. And suppose P1, P2, … , Pn, are the properties jointly sufficient and severally necessary for something’s falling under C. Then C can be defined as follows: A thing x is an instance of C (i.e., C applies to x) if and only if x has P1, P2, …, Pn. The 'Confusion to Avoid' sections at the end of each chapter will be particularly useful.” [6] Now when Anselm says that a being exists in the understanding, we may take him, I think, as saying that someone has thought of or thought about that being. Syntax; Advanced Search; New. Plantinga is one of the most respected and influential philosophers today. For it is ambiguous as between, (21′) It’s not possible that there be a being whose greatness surpasses that enjoyed by the unsurpassably great being in the worlds where its greatness is at a maximum. Instead of speaking of the ontological argument, we must recognize that what we have here is a whole family of related arguments. How are we to think of them? 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