Influences forming Plato’s views of the world workbook answers


I think therefore I am. 11



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10 I think therefore I am.

11 Descartes explored a number of arguments for universal doubt:

12 One of the main criticisms of the Ontological Argument comes from Kant and his belief that existence is not a predicate. A predicate is the part of a sentence that gives information about the subject of a sentence. Kant argues that we cannot go round adding existence as a property of God, or anything else, in order to define God or anything else into existence. To say something exists does not add a description as a predicate does. It says that in the real world there exists a being that corresponds to the concept.

13 There is no model answer to this question. Whether you think Kant was successful or not you will be examined on your ability to justify your view. You could, for example, say that philosophers who agree with Anselm or Descartes are entitled to argue that God is a special case and then say why you think so or you could simply agree with Kant and explain what you see as the strengths of his arguments.

14 At its most basic, Malcolm’s argument says:

  • God is, as a conceptual matter (that is a matter of definition) an unlimited being.

  • The existence of an unlimited being is either logically necessary or logically impossible.

  • The existence of an unlimited being is not logically impossible.

  • Therefore the existence of God is logically necessary.

15 Plantinga argues:

  • A being has maximal excellence in a given possible world W if and only if it is omnipotent, omniscient and wholly good in W; and

  • a being has maximal greatness if it has maximal excellence in every possible world.

  • It is possible that a being has maximal greatness;

  • therefore, possibly, it is necessarily true that an omniscient, omnipotent, and perfectly good being exists;

  • therefore, it is necessarily true that an omniscient, omnipotent and perfectly good being exists;

  • therefore, an omniscient, omnipotent and perfectly good God exists.




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