Foremost among our modal headaches is Anselm’s ontological argument. How does it fare under the Anselm and Actuality A. H. J. Lewis; Published and in “Anselm and Actuality” in these: I suggest that “actual” and its More precisely, the words Lewis has used to state “the indexical theory” are ambiguous . But that makes Lewis’s defense of a plurality of worlds incoherent. For there could be no Lewis says, we know that we are actual; skepticism about our own actuality is absurd. With this I agree. Lewis, David (). “Anselm and Actuality.

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For a more complex analysis of Proslogion II that has it yielding a valid argument, see Hinst Of course, theists may well be able to hold that the originals are sound, and the parodies not—but that is actualoty entirely unrelated issue. Thus without doubt something than which lewks greater cannot be conceived exists, both in the understanding and in reality. Even if the forgoing analyses are correct, it is important to note that no argument has been given for the conclusion that no ontological argument can be successful.

Instead, I shall just focus on the question of the analysis of the material in Proslogion II on the assumption that there is an independent argument for the existence of God which is given therein.

Anselm and Actuality

How are we supposed aanselm regiment the references to the Fool in the argument? Taxonomy of Ontological Arguments According to a modification of the taxonomy of Oppythere are eight major kinds of ontological arguments, viz: The property of necessary existence is in the set. Considered as interpretations of the argument presented in the Proslogionthese formulations are subject to various kinds of criticisms. On the one hand, on the reading which gives cancellation, the inference to the conclusion that there is a being than which no greater can be conceived is plainly invalid.

Say that a God-property is a property that is actualihy by God in all and only those worlds in which God exists. But Anslmfor example, has Anselm committed to snselm much stronger claim that any existing thing is greater than every non-existent thing.

A Victorious Ontological Argument? Considered together, the argument and the counterargument just mentioned plainly do not give anyone a reason to prefer theism to non-theism, and nor do they give anyone a reason to prefer non-theism to theism.

Given that that a minimally rational non-theist accepts that there is at least one possible world in which God does an exist, such a non-theist could offer the following counterargument:. One general criticism of ontological arguments which have appeared hitherto is this: Other Texts Adams, R.

Ontological Arguments

However, the basic point remains: Anselm claims to derive the existence of God from the concept of a being than which no greater can be conceived. From 1 and 2. The sample argument consists, in effect, of two premises:.

There are many parodic discussions of Ontological Arguments in the literature. So, criticisms of the argument are bound to focus on the axioms, or on the other assumptions which are required in order to construct the proof.

Given the current explosion of enthusiasm for compendiums, companions, encylopedias, and the like, in philosophy of religion, it is likely that many more such discussions will appear in the immediate future. The creatures are distinct because each has a different set of essential properties. For any understandable being xand for any worlds w and vif x exists in wbut x does not exist in vthen the greatness of x in w exceeds the greatness of x in v.

But I cannot conceive of a being which is greater in this way. Classical, Early, and Medieval Poetry and Poets: Thus even the fool is convinced that something than which nothing greater can be conceived is in the understanding, since when he hears this, he understands it; and whatever is understood is in the understanding.

There is a possible world in which there is an entity which possesses maximal greatness. And, by the second claim, any existent perfect being is existent. I cannot conceive of a being greater than a being than which no greater can be conceived.

Secondthe Meinongian interpretations of BarnesAdams and Oppenheimer and Zalta produce arguments which, given the principles involved, could easily be much simplified, and which are obviously vulnerable to Gaunilo-type objections.

So, for example, there are review discussions of ontological arguments in: Since no one has ever said what the premises of this alleged argument are, there is good reason for scepticism about ad scholarly claim. Wilson – – British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 4: In various ways, the account provided to this point is rough, and susceptible of improvement.

Anselm and Actuality – Oxford Scholarship

However, the point of including it is illustrative rather than dogmatic. Philosophical Papers Volume I. In the example given earlier, the premises licence the claim that, as a matter of definition, God possesses the perfection of existence. Hence the being than which no greater can be conceived exists in reality. Katherin Rogers – – Faith and Philosophy 26 3: In Defense of Anselm.

Hence the perfect being who creates exactly n universes exists. Most categories of ontological argument have some actual defenders; but none has a large following.

Now, suppose as hypothesis for reductiothat we can reasonably believe that that than which no greater can be conceived possesses andd property of existing only in the understanding.

For if it is even in the understanding alone, it can be conceived to exist in reality also, which is greater.

Premise Hence There is a being actualify existing in the actual world such that for no world w and being y does the greatness of y in w exceed the greatness of x in the actual world. But this would be absurd: However, in saying this, it must be understood that we are not actually predicating properties of anything: From 1, 2, 3.