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sarah12345
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"The ontological argument can never overcome the critisism from Kant that existence is not a predicate" discuss

Im stuck for ideas on this essay and dont know what to wirte please can someone help me thanks a milllion
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England Captain
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maybe you should first explain what the ontological argument actually is from Anselm and Descartes (introductory paragraph etc), Then you should state Kants criticisms and whether they work or not, eg strengths and weaknesses. Possibly comment on what other philsophers have said about the criticism, and then come to a conclusion, eg P1 P2 C etc...
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Sopheh
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(Original post by sarah12345)
"The ontological argument can never overcome the critisism from Kant that existence is not a predicate" discuss

Im stuck for ideas on this essay and dont know what to wirte please can someone help me thanks a milllion
I'm really rusty on ontological but I think that that crticism was to Descartes ontological argument.

I'd probably say that that criticism severely weakens Descartes argument but it is the addition of the many other criticisms that prove Descartes argument to be flawed. Then you could go on about all the other criticisms and stuff...
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schrodingerscat
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the best criticisms of the Ont. Arg are in Simon Blackburn's book 'think'. His criticisms are really clear and you'll understand immedtiately why this argument is the pile of **** it is. Unlike when my teachers tried to explain Frege's/Russell's 1st/2nd order predicate criticisms. tame tigers etc.
Here are blackburns' crits briefly:

1) Anselm, Descartes et al compare what is real to what is in the mind and concludes that existence in reality is greater. THEY CANT DO THIS. here is why: which is heavier: an imaginary turkey or a real one? What about an imaginary 500kg super-turkey? You can't decide because you actualy cant compare them. So the argument's logic is fallacious: you cant compare real-God to imaginary-God and say real-God is greater.

2) adding 'exists' to a definition doesn't make it more likely that anything exists. Imagine a dating agency: if your perfect match is 'blonde, smiley and funny' then paying extra to advertise for someone who is 'blonde smiley funny and existent' is pointless, as this doesn'tmake anything exist. So even of God, to be God, must exist, this doesn't make him exist. This is what Russell and Frege were trying to say but they were being too clever and philosophical which obscured the real point of their ciriticism

what the argument does prove is that given our definition of God, then IF HE IN FACT DOES EXIST, then his existence must be necessary. But the arg never moves out of the the realm of ideas and into reality.
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hellraiser07
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ontological argument

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"The ontological argument can never overcome the critisism from Kant that existence is not a predicate" discuss

Im stuck for ideas on this essay and dont know what to wirte please can someone help me thanks a milllion



i think the q in which your teacher is trying to ask is:

"The ontological argument can never overcome the critisism from Kant that existence is not a predicate of perfection" discuss

you see, the ontological argument is known by many as flawed mainly because of the notion that it is illegitimate to jump from ideas to ontos (meaning reality). Anselm starting point is defining god as "that than which nothing greater can be conceived (or thought if you like)."

kant and hume both objected to this by stating my earlier criticism i mentioned, which was "it is illegitimate to jump from ideas to ontos."

it seems to me in you q that kant is criticizing descartes ontologicalical argument found in his "meditations," which is summarised:

1. god is perfect.
2. existence is a predicate of perfection.
3. since god is perfect he therefore must exist.

but this form of argument goes back to hume and kants main objection that is it not reasonable without some form of evidence to suggest in any way that 1. god is perfect, and 2. existence is a predicate of perfection.

lets look at it this was.

take descartes initial premise: 1. god is perfect.

god is the subject here, and perfect is the property. Aquinas stated in the philosophy of language (roughly) " how can we use imperfect language (as we are imperfect beingf) to describe a perfect being, god." it seems absurd to do so, just as it is to have an idea, and then to move that concept into the realm of reality eg. i have an idea that in 2007 im going to be rich, however this cannot proved right unless in 2007 this becomes the case. to move from a concept to reality is absurd, especially as we are imperfect in the first place.

hope this helps
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