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Millican on the Ontological Argument

Nagasawa, Yujin (2007) Millican on the Ontological Argument. Mind, 116 (464). pp. 1027-1040. ISSN 0026-4423 (Submitted)

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URL of Published Version: http://mind.oxfordjournals.org/content/116/464/1027.abstract?sid=3b10be7f-17ab-4143-b4e9-6ea970b6e3ec

Identification Number/DOI: 10.1093/mind/fzm1027

Peter Millican (2004) provides a novel and elaborate objection to Anselm’s ontological argument. Millican thinks that his objection is more powerful than any other because it does not dispute contentious ‘deep philosophical theories’ that underlie the argument. Instead, it tries to reveal the ‘fatal flaw’ of the argument by considering its ‘shallow logical details’. Millican’s objection is based on his interpretation of the argument, according to which Anselm relies on what I call the ‘principle of the superiority of existence’ (PSE). I argue that (i) the textual evidence Millican cites does not provide a convincing case that Anselm relies on PSE and that, moreover, (ii) Anselm does not even need PSE for the ontological argument. I introduce a plausible interpretation of the ontological argument that is not vulnerable to Millican’s objection and conclude that even if the ontological argument fails, it does not fail in the way Millican thinks it does.

Type of Work:Article
Date:November 2007 (Submission)
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Social Science
Department:Department of Philosophy
Subjects:B Philosophy (General)
BT Doctrinal Theology
BD Speculative Philosophy
Institution:University of Birmingham
Copyright Holders:Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Mind Association. All rights reserved.
ID Code:19
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