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The relevance of Kant's objection to Anselm's ontological argument

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 July 2010

CHRIS HEATHWOOD
Affiliation:
Department of Philosophy, University of Colorado at Boulder, 232 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0232
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Abstract

The most famous objection to the ontological argument is given in Kant's dictum that existence is not a real predicate. But it is not obvious how this slogan is supposed to relate to the ontological argument. Some, most notably Alvin Plantinga, have even judged Kant's dictum to be totally irrelevant to Anselm's version of the ontological argument. In this paper I argue, against Plantinga and others, that Kant's claim is indeed relevant to Anselm's argument, in the straightforward sense that if the claim is true, then Anselm's argument is unsound.

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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