Chapter

Spinoza and the Ontological Proof

Ruth Barcan Marcus

in Modalities

Published in print August 1995 | ISBN: 9780195096576
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833412 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195096576.003.0011
 Spinoza and the Ontological Proof

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This paper attempts to characterize the “ontological proof” for the existence of God. It discusses Wolfson's analysis of the proof and argues that his characterization is not mistaken but insufficient. It is then argued that the characterization here proposed provides a good account of Anselm's and Descartes’ proof, but shows that there is no “ontological proof” in Spinoza. The paper concludes by identifying a confusion between metaphysical and epistemological notions, which conflates very different arguments under the heading “ontological proof.”

Keywords: Anselm; conceivability; Descartes; God; ontological proof; possibility; Spinoza; Wolfson

Chapter.  5064 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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