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Descartes’ version of the ontological argument in the light of Kant’s criticism

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  1. Introduction.
  2. What does ontological mean?
  3. Descartes' Fifth Meditation.
  4. Descartes' ontological argument.
  5. Conclusion.
  6. Bibliography.

God has always been a subject of debate and it will probably always be so. One of the reasons leading to this perpetual debate is that people have never agreed on the concept of God. Some religions (e.g. Hinduism) believe that there are several Gods whilst others (e.g. Christianity, Islam, Judaism) believe that there can only be one. However, all these religions do believe that God exists. That might be obvious for the believers but it is not so for the others. The philosophy of religion has sought to give an answer to that question by developing several arguments who tend to show (or not) the necessity's of God's existence. One of these arguments is the Ontological Argument, primarily developed by Saint Anselm in the 11th century. The argument then faded away because of its weaknesses. It was first in the 17th century that another Ontological Argument was thought of, this time by Descartes.

[...] The many faced argument, Recent studies on the ontological argument for the existence of God. Macmillan, London p. Hyper grammar by the writing centre at the University of Ottawa, http://www.uottawa.ca/academic/arts/writcent/hypergrammar/grammar.html Kant, Immanuel. Critique of pure reason. Translated by Meiklejohn, J. M. D. London : J. M. Dent & sons, ltd. New York, E. P. Dutton & co., inc p. Philosophy pages, http://www.philosophypages.com/index.htm Philosophy of Religion lectures by Robin Taylor, University of Kent at Canterbury Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, entry: René Descartes, http://www.rep.routledge.com/article/DA026 Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, entry: Descartes' Ontological Argument, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/descartes-ontological The free dictionary, http://www.thefreedictionary.com Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, entry: Ontology. [...]


[...] Critique of pure reason. Translated by Meiklejohn, J. M. D. London : J. M. Dent & sons, ltd. New York, E. P. Dutton & co., inc p I find myself unable to form the slightest conception of a thing which, when annihilated in thought with all its predicates, leaves behind a contradiction; and contradiction is the only criterion of impossibility, in the sphere of pure a priori conception? Kant, Immanuel. Critique of pure reason. Translated by Meiklejohn, J. M. D. [...]

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