Ontological Arguments and Belief in God: Literature Notes
Oppy (Graham)
Source: Oppy (Graham) - Ontological Arguments and Belief in God, Literature Notes
Paper - Abstract

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This long chapter is parallel to the rest of the book, and contains the notes and a literature review. So, if you want to know where else to look to find out more on the various aspects of the ontological argument, this is the place to look.


  1. Some historical considerations
    (1) Historical synopsis
    (2) St. Anselm's arguments
    … (a) Chapter 2 of the Proslogion
    … (b) Chapter 3 of the Proslogion
    … (c) Further chapters of the Proslogion
    … (d) Gaunilo's objection and St. Anselm's reply
    (3) Descartes' arguments
    (4) Leibniz's contribution to the arguments
    (5) Hume's objections
    (6) Kant's objections
    … (a) No existence claims are analytic
    … (b) Existence is not a predicate
    … (c) No negative existentials are self-contradictory
    (7) The logical positivist critique
    (8) Concluding remarks
  2. Definitional arguments
    (1) Begging the question
  3. Conceptual arguments
  4. Modal1 arguments
    (1) Modal2 arguments involving actuality
    (2) Modal3 arguments involving necessity
    (3) Modal4 arguments involving explicability
    (4) Modal5 arguments involving incomprehensibility
  5. Meinongian arguments
  6. Experiential arguments
  7. "Hegelian" arguments
    (1) The neo-Kantian argument
    (2) The neo-Platonic argument
    (3) Haight's argument
  8. Application to historical arguments
    (1) The argument from Proslogion 2
    (2) The argument from Proslogion 3
    (3) The Cartesian argument
    (4) General remarks: the general objection
  9. Are there (other) global objections to ontological arguments?
    (1) The missing explanation argument
    (2) The Thomistic objections
    (3) The use of singular terms
    (4) Further attempts
  10. Is existence a predicate?
    (1) Real predicates
    (2) Attempted defenses 1: propositions and singular terms
    … (a) All genuine propositions are about their subjects
    … (b) All genuine singular terms refer
    … (c) All genuine singular terms purport to refer
    … (d) There are no genuine singular terms
    (3) Attempted defenses 2: existence
    … (a) Existence is a second-order predicate
    … (b) Existence is a quantifier –
    … (c) Existence does not admit of analysis
    … (d) Existence is not a property
    (4) (Maybe) existence is a predicate
  11. The uses of parody
    (1) Beings of kind K than which no greater beings of kind K can be conceived
    (2) Most perfect beings of kind K
    (3) Necessarily existent beings of kind K
    (4) Actually existent beings of kind K
    (5) Maximal beings of kind K
    (6) Devils, and so on
    (7) What does parody show?
  12. Are ontological arguments of any use to theists and/or atheists?
    (1) The rationality of theistic belief
    (2) The irrationality of nontheistic belief
    (3) The absolute security of theistic belief

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  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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