Kants critic of the onthological argument

Thus, even if a single attribute can be denied to God, then the whole argument collapses. Thus an atheist has to just find out one single attribute and prove that God cannot have it, and it would be sufficient to reject the whole idea of God as a mere fantasy.

Kants critic of the onthological argument

Oral exam question 3: Here are the bullet points. Kant says "exists" or "being" is not a predicate. For Kant there are two types of predicates: Logical analytic and determining synthetic.

Gaunilo’s Objection to the Ontological Argument: The Perfect Island

A "logical" or "analytic" predicate analyzes the subject, but adds nothing to the concept of the subject. In a subject-predicate statement, "exists" is the "copula" connector that connects subject and predicate.

If "exists" were a real predicate then we would have the absurd situation that "the real contains more than the merely possible. For Kant the Ontological Argument fails because it depends on "actual existence" being a predicate, and it is neither an analytic predicate nor a synthetic predicate.

Philosopher Norman Malcolm agrees with Kant that "exists" is not a predicate. But Malcolm thinks Anselm meant, not "existence," but "necessary existence. My wife Linda necessarily exists. This statement seems to make an outrageous claim; viz.

It attributes necessary existence to her, and thus seems to function as a predicate or attribute.

Kants critic of the onthological argument

This neither analyzes the subject nor adds something to our concept idea of the subject. It is merely the positing of a thing, or of certain determinations, as existing in themselves.

Logically, it is merely the copula of a judgment. Here is an example to illustrate that "exists" or "being," "is-ness" is not a real attribute or predicate.

All of these predicates add something to the concept "My wife Linda.

Possible Worlds: Kant's Criticism of the Ontological Argument

That adds nothing to the subject "My wife Linda. My existing wife Linda has the attribute of existence. That statement is tautological redundantwhich means the predicate simply repeats the subject. You go for a job interview. The interviewer asks you to describe yourself, which is another way of listing your attributes.

The interviewer, his eyes wide open and jaw dropping to the floor, is amazed! Probably, he wants to hire you. But then you open your mouth and say Because "exists" is not an attribute. And you just lost the job.

Kant further explains this by saying, "The real contains no more than the merely possible. I go to the bank with that idea in mind and make the withdrawal.If appropriate, show again the video Kant’s Objection to the Ontological Argument (preview and download above).

Academic Tools

Hand out Worksheet 2 and read through the passage as a class, clarifying points as you go. Make it clear that . Kant's Criticism of the Ontological Argument One of the most famous (and supposedly devastating) criticisms of Anselm’s ontological argument comes from Immanuel Kant.

It is virtually undisputed by those who mention the argument. The ontological argument is, roughly, the argument that God, being that than which no greater can be conceived, must exist, for if he did not then it would be possible to conceive of an existent God, which would be greater than that than which no greater can be conceived, which is absurd.

The ontological argument is the most maligned of the . Mar 18,  · Kant’s criticism calls “existence” into question. Kant refuted the way in which “existence” was used by Anselm in the form of a real predicate that contributed to the existence of a being.

Recall, for Anselm the argument was made that a being that existed in mind only was inferior to a being that existed in mind and reality.

The first critic of the ontological argument was Anselm's contemporary, Gaunilo of Marmoutiers. He used the analogy of a perfect island, suggesting that the ontological argument could be used to prove the existence of anything.

This was the first of . A standard argument for the view that this Fregean notion of existence is the only legitimate notion is that if existence were a first level predicate of objects, then (it is claimed) negative existential statements like “Martians do not exist” would be self contradictory, which they obviously are not.

Kant’s Critique of the Ontological Argument for the Existence of God | acts