Descartes ontological argument. Descartes' Ontological Argument (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy/Spring 2017 Edition) 2022-11-06

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René Descartes is a philosopher known for his contributions to the fields of mathematics and philosophy, particularly his work on the foundations of knowledge and belief. One of his most famous philosophical contributions is the ontological argument, which is an argument for the existence of God based on the concept of God as a being who possesses all perfections.

The ontological argument begins with the premise that the concept of God, as a being who is all-perfect, exists in the mind. Descartes argues that this concept of God must have some basis in reality, because the idea of God is so great and perfect that it could not have originated from nothing. Therefore, he concludes that God must exist in reality as well as in the mind.

One of the key elements of the ontological argument is the idea of necessary existence. Descartes asserts that God, as a being who possesses all perfections, must necessarily exist, because the concept of a being who lacks any perfection is contradictory and impossible. Therefore, he argues, the existence of God is necessary, and it follows that God must exist.

There are several criticisms of Descartes' ontological argument. One criticism is that the argument relies on the assumption that the concept of God as a being who possesses all perfections is coherent and logical. However, some philosophers have argued that the concept of God is actually contradictory and therefore cannot be used as the basis for an argument for God's existence.

Another criticism of the ontological argument is that it relies on the idea that the existence of something can be deduced from the concept of that thing. However, many philosophers have argued that this is not necessarily the case, and that the existence of something cannot be deduced solely from the concept of that thing.

Despite these criticisms, the ontological argument has had a significant influence on the field of philosophy and continues to be debated by philosophers today. Some have argued that it provides a strong and logical argument for the existence of God, while others have rejected it as flawed and unconvincing. Regardless of its ultimate validity, the ontological argument remains a central and enduring contribution to the philosophical debate over the existence of God.

Descartes' Ontological Argument Flashcards

descartes ontological argument

Now, when Descartes says that a substance be it finite or infinite is merely rationally distinct from its existence, he always means an actually existing substance. This argument was ontological in character. Assuming that the presence of thinking presupposed the existence of spirit, Descartes had built his ontological approach based on this relationship. But for others this is far greater than that. The first is that this argument gets egregiously misunderstood by contemporary philosophers, and for a rather important reason.

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Descartes’ cosmological and ontological arguments

descartes ontological argument

Christianity unwittingly dealt a mortal blow to this understanding of philosophy, by treating the Ancients as a reservoir of concepts they could repurpose to do theology, and in the practical realm by privileging the Christian way over the philosphic way, but the coup de grĂące was administered by the Moderns and their rationalistic project. No being can be conceived that is greater that God 2. Both Kant and Russell for example are interested in the logical issue of whether existence is a predicate. Descartes attributes much weight to the feeling that something is clear and distinct, when as it can be seen that it is not enough to perceive a concept as clear and distinct and immediately assume that the concept exists. It thus came as a surprise to Descartes' contemporaries that he should attempt to resurrect it.

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(DOC) The Ontology of Descartes’ Ontological Proof for God’s Existence

descartes ontological argument

Descartes' ontological or a priori argument is both one of the most fascinating and poorly understood aspects of his philosophy. One of the most important objections to the argument is that if it were valid, one could proliferate such arguments for all sorts of things, including beings whose existence is merely contingent. While this set of sentences has the surface structure of a formal argument, its persuasive force lies at a different level. The structure of the physical world presupposes the possibility of the emergence of nature without the initiative and power of God. He was no doubt disappointed by criticism, rather than acclamation, of his arguments by theologians and others which he published as Objections with his Replies along with the Meditations, and which are as worthy of study as the main text. But other meditators, whose minds are confused and mired in sensory images, must work much harder, and might even require a proof to attain the requisite clear and distinct perception.

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what is descartes ontological argument for gods existence?

descartes ontological argument

He also maintains that God has only attributes and no modes or accidental properties. The problem with this is that because of Descartes logical framework, all it takes for something to exist in the world is to somehow incorporate the idea of existence into the nature of the concept. And the force of this realization would apply equally to all the many different modes of the person's thinking. Colocar a razão no tribunal não é uma novidade, mas uma revolução no sentido estrito, isto é, um retorno. Whenever we think of anything, we regard it as existing, even if the thing in question does not actually exist.

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Anselm Vs Descartes Ontological Argument

descartes ontological argument

In this context, God is the creator who has endowed the world with the essence, though the Supreme Being is unable to influence the further development of nature. Cosmological Vs Ontological Argument 1444 Words 6 Pages There have been an innumerable amount of arguments for the existence of God for hundreds of years. Given that God was existing, then there would be more perceivable signs of God interacting with matter that are present, even to the point of having an experience of personally watching God affect matter as it is happening. Initially, Descartes tried to find arguments proving the existence of God explaining it by the fact that God was an essential intermediary element between humans and nature. Ontological arguments revolve around the state or nature of being. But this means that a lot of background assumptions that all philosophers shared up until roughly the 19th century have been lost.

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The Ontological Argument from Descartes to Hegel

descartes ontological argument

In this sense, they do not differ. Como a luz do Sol que ilumina a variedade das coisas no mundo sem perder sua identidade, permanecendo a mesma luz, o pensamento julgador mantĂ©m sua unidade sem nunca se quebrar ou se perder, seja qual for os objetos aos quais se aplica: seja o que for que eu julgue, Ă© sempre eu quem julgo. Lesson Summary Ontology refers to the branch of philosophy concerned with existence. His ontological argument, lacking the crucial, indispensable, experiential foundation of necessary thinking activity, is destined to fail from its very inception. Or, to understand that I think contingently a finite and imperfect activity requires that I must have some ontologically prior, innate understanding of what it means to think necessarily an infinite and perfect activity. Presumably, for an Anselmian theist, claiming that God exists necessarily involves claiming that there necessarily exists a being of unsurpassable excellence or perfection. É porque Ă© autoritĂĄria que tem o direito de se perguntar sobre o que o autoriza, sobre o que o investe com tal autoridade.

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Rene Descartes Ontological Argument

descartes ontological argument

In the first, Descartes calls into mind three possibilities to prove our inability to trust our senses and what we fundamentally believe to be true. He provided understanding of the trunk of the tree of knowledge in The World, Dioptrics, Meteorology, and Geometry, and he established its metaphysical roots in the Meditations. As with most of his replies to Gassendi whom he regarded as a loathsome materialist and quibbler , Descartes responded somewhat curtly. I think it is doubtful whether Descartes thought the first proof really was as compelling as he suggests; indeed I think that the Ontological argument was the one he regarded as most compelling. First, he has principled reasons for thinking that everyone has the same set of innate or clear and distinct ideas. Russell's view is reflected in the standard modern logical treatment of existence as a quantifier rather than a predicate. So it is quite apparent, at least to me, that you know what a sound argument is.

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Rene Descartes' Ontological Reasoning

descartes ontological argument

It offers a comprehensive discussion of one of the most famous arguments for the existence of God: the ontological argument. Another commentator places Cartesian essences in God Schmaltz 1991 , while two recent revisionist interpretations Chappell, 1997; Nolan, 1997 read Descartes as a conceptualist who takes essences to be ideas in human minds. His ontological argument is seen as one of the most concise and elegant in history. Who developed the ontological argument? In 1945, Bertrand Russell announced in his famous The History of Western Philosophy a brilliant but sometimes eccentric and flawed book that the ontological argument has been proved to be invalid, despite the fact that the soundness of the argument would be very good news indeed for philosophy: The real question is: Is there anything we can think of which, by the mere fact that we can think of it, is shown to exist outside our thoughts. To reinforce this objection, it is sometimes observed that the divine perfections omnipotence, omniscience, benevolence, eternality, etc. New York: Cambridge University Press, 385—410.


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Descartes’ Ontological Argument And What It Means For How We Understand Philosophy

descartes ontological argument

The existence of an idea its formal reality is distinguished from the content of the idea its objective reality. P2: A cause must be at least as great real as its effect. Instead of rejecting deduction in favour of induction, like Bacon, Descartes developed a new, ampliative theory of deduction in the Regulae. Descartes was dead long before Leibniz articulated this criticism but it was familiar to him from the Second Set of Objectors Marin Mersenne et al. In casting the argument in these terms, he is implicitly relying on a traditional medieval distinction between a thing's essence and its existence.

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Descartes’ Ontological Argument

descartes ontological argument

I do not yet see how linking necessity and perfection is a theological disaster. Since existing is part of being perfect, God must therefore exist. Therefore, due to the fact that people had a concept of the Supreme Being, it evidenced the existence of God. It was this theory of innate knowledge that was later combated by philosopher John Locke 1632—1704 , an empiricist. One argument isn't necessarily better than the other, but both are important to consider.


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