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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So ontological arguments—whose conclusions are first-order existence claims—are doomed. Sign in to use this feature. After all, when it is set out in this way, it is obvious that the argument proves far too much. History of Ontological Arguments Thirdsome of the arguments have Anselm committed to claims about greatness which do not seem to correspond with what he actually says. Premise If a person can conceive of something, and that thing entails something else, then the person can also conceive of that other thing.

Hence Even the Fool believes aneelm that than which no greater can be conceived exists in the understanding.

Ignoring the distinction between entertaining ideas and holding beliefs, this means that we when we entertain the idea of that than which no greater can be conceived, snd entertain the xnd of a being which exists only in the understanding.

But if any reasonable person must believe that that than which no greater can be conceived exists in reality, then surely it is the case that that than which no greater can be conceived exists in reality. Hence, it is false that God exists in the understanding but not in reality.


Premise For any understandable being xand for any worlds w and vif x exists in wbut x does not exist in vthen the greatness anseml x in w exceeds the greatness of x in v.

David Lewis, Anselm and actuality – PhilPapers

Many recent discussions of ontological arguments are in compendiums, companions, encylopedias, and the like. However, the point of including it is illustrative rather than dogmatic.

Hence, the existent perfect being is existent. This is true as a matter of definition. Chambers works with the analysis of Adams Cognoscenti will recognise that the crucial point is that Meinongian ontological arguments fail to respect the distinction between nuclear assumptible, characterising properties and non-nuclear non-assumptible, non-characterising properties.

The most significant of these pieces is Millicanthe first article on ontological arguments in recent memory to appear in Mind. Hence the being than which no greater can ansel conceived exists in reality.

Anselm and Actuality

Perhaps it might be replied that this objection fails to take the first premise into account: However, in saying this, it must be understood that we are not actually predicating properties of anything: Of course, the premises of ontological arguments often do not deal directly with perfect beings, beings than which no greater can be conceived, etc.

But this would be absurd: Terence Parsons, Richard Sylvan—ever endorses a Meinongian ontological argument; and it should also be noted that most motivate the distinction between nuclear and non-nuclear properties in part by a need to avoid Meinongian ontological arguments.

There is no entity which possesses maximal greatness. Here is a modest attempt to provide such an analysis: Premise, to which even the Fool agrees. Focus on the case of ontological arguments for the conclusion that God exists.


Ontological Arguments

For a more complex analysis of Proslogion II that has it yielding a valid argument, see Hinst It should, of course, be noted that neither Meinong, nor any of his well-known modern supporters—e.

It is not easy to give a good characterisation of ontological arguments.

Ian Logan – – Ashgate. If a property is positive, then it is necessarily positive Axiom 5: From 1 – 6by a complex series of steps here omitted. A Victorious Ontological Argument? Other commentators claim actuslity the main proof is in Prologion IIIand that the proof in Proslogion II is merely an inferior first attempt see, e. However, as Bertrand Russell observed, it is much easier to be persuaded that ontological arguments are no good than it is ansel say exactly what is wrong with them.

These are arguments with premises which concern modal claims about God, i.

Anselm and Actuality : Philosophical Papers Volume I – oi

Publications Pages Publications Pages. Classical, Early, and Medieval Plays and Playwrights: Peter King – unknown.

Plantinga, The Nature of Necessity. Anselm tried to put forward any proofs of the existence of God. Necessary existence is positive Axiom 6: At most, the various axioms which involve this concept can be taken to provide a partial implicit definition.

Hence the perfect being who creates exactly n universes exists.