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Names and Indefinite Descriptions in Ontological Arguments

  • Jordan Howard Sobel (a1)

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So begins a recent ontological argument. But what if there are no most perfect beings? Letting God be one, that is, letting “God” name one at the very beginning seems premature. Clearly it is best to leave “God” out of the argument until one is in a position to introduce him by existential instantiation, or, by further argumentation, to identify him with a most perfect being: clearly it is best to leave “God” out of the argument until it has been established that there is a most perfect being.

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[1] Hartshorne, Charles, The Logic of Perfection (La Sallé: Open Court, 1962).
[2] Kalish, Donald, Montague, Richard, and Mar, Gary, Logic: Techniques of Formal Reasoning (2nd ed.; New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980).
[3] Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, trans. Smith, Norman Kemp (London: Macmillan, 1958).
[4] Kordig, Carl R., “A Deontic Argument for God's Existence”, Noûs 15 (1981), 207208.
[5] Lewis, David, “Anselm and Actuality”, Noûs 4 (1970), 175188.
[6] Malcolm, Norman, “Anselm's Ontological Arguments”, Philosophical Review 69 (1960), 4162.
[7] Moore, George Edward, Principia Ethica (Cambridge: University Press, 1971).
[8] Penelhum, Terence, Religion and Rationality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion (New York: Random House, 1971).
[9] Plantinga, Alvin, God, Freedom and Evil (New York: Harper & Row, 1974).
[10]Skyrms, Brian, “Mates Quantification and Intensional Logic”, Australasian Journal of Philosphy 59 (1981), 177188.

Names and Indefinite Descriptions in Ontological Arguments

  • Jordan Howard Sobel (a1)

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