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:
 Spinoza and the Ontological Proof

Show Summary Details


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

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.