Another Proof of the Existence of God

David Cunning

in Argument and Persuasion in Descartes’ Meditations

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780195399608
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199866502 | DOI:
Another Proof of the Existence of God

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This chapter argues that the Fifth Meditation argument for God’s existence is like the Third Meditation arguments in that it does not depend on the premise that whatever we perceive clearly and distinctly is true. The former is a free-standing argument that is intended for meditators who did not fully understand the reasoning of the Third Meditation. The Cartesian Circle does not arise in the case of any of these arguments. The chapter also considers the ontological status of true and immutable natures and Descartes’ theory of rational distinction. Descartes does not subscribe to a nominalism or Platonism with respect to true and immutable natures; in the final analysis Descartes thinks that a thing and its nature are identical, even though his meditator is not yet in a position to recognize this, as he is not a full-blown Cartesian. The discussion of true and immutable natures sets up the Fifth Meditation ontological argument for the existence of God. In the latter argument, we recognize the truth of claims that are obvious upon reflection, and we recognize that the truth-maker or conformable for these claims can only be God Himself.

Keywords: true and immutable nature; Cartesian Circle; truth-maker; truth; conformable; Platonism; nominalism; rational distinction; ontological argument

Chapter.  13686 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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