Kantian Journal

2015 Issue №1(51)

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Steven Makin’s ontological argument: The concept of necessary exis¬ten¬ce of God

DOI
10.5922/0207-6918-2015-1-4
Pages
43-54

Abstract

This article deals with one of the most elegant and non-standard versions of the modal onto-logical argument for God’s existence, which was proposed by the analytic philosopher Stephen Makin in 1988. He managed to avoid the famous criticism of Kant concerning the impossibility of acknowledging the predicate ‘to exist’ as real. Makin’s argument is not based on proving the presence of necessarily exemplified concepts rather than the necessary existing object. He argues that there is at least one (and possibly unique) such concept — Anselm’s famous "that than which none greater can be conceived".There are three key ideas, namely: 1) there are no reasons to consider that class of necessarily exemplified concepts as non-empty; 2) interchangeability of alethic modalities does not seem to be a valid argument; 3) there are additional complications that were not mentioned in earlier analyses. In particular, the proof does not take into account the multilevel structure of ontology, whose hier¬archy of levels determines, as a rule, what entities exist in ontology in the true sense of the word. In addition, Makin’s approach can be described in terms of Tichy’s "offices", which makes it impossible to consider God as omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent.

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