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Mohr, Georg

Kant Yearbook

Editor-in-Chief: Heidemann, Dietmar

Editorial Board: Allison, Henry E. / Ameriks, Karl / Brittan, Gordon G. / Düsing, Klaus / Dahlstrom, Daniel O. / Dyck, Corey W. / Engelhard, Kristina / Falkenburg, Brigitte / Ginsborg, Hannah / Gilmore-Grier, Michelle / Grundmann, Thomas / Guyer, Paul / Hanna, Robert / Kreimendahl, Lothar / Nuzzo, Angelica / Stern, Robert / Sturma, Dieter / Theis, Robert / Westphal, Kenneth R. / Willaschek, Marcus

1 Issue per year


CiteScore 2017: 0.33

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.104
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.913

Online
ISSN
1868-4602
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Kant’s Criticisms of Ontological and Onto-theological Arguments for the Existence of God

Matthew Rukgaber
Published Online: 2014-08-21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/kantyb-2014-0106

Abstract

Kant’s objection to the ontological argument in the first Critique is thought to be contained within the claim that ‘existence is not a predicate’. This article maintains that this ‘digression’ on existence is not Kant’s main objection. Instead, Kant argues within the first eight paragraphs of this fourteen paragraph section that there is no meaningful predication - either logical or real - without a synthetic, existential judgment concerning the subject of predication. Thus, the very subject of predication of the proof (God) is an empty concept and an indeterminate nominal definition (rather than a real possibility) that allows for neither meaningful predication nor the generation of a contradiction. I argue that this objection is significantly different than classical objections that are often identified with it and from Kant’s objection in 1763. I also argue that Kant’s target is not simply the Cartesian argument but is also his own pre-critical onto-theological argument. There is little evidence that Kant continues to accept the a priori onto-theological argument, and, in fact, he rejects its core claims in his discussion of the ontological argument and in the final paragraphs of the section on the Ideal of Reason.

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Published Online: 2014-08-21

Published in Print: 2014-07-29


Citation Information: Kant Yearbook, Volume 6, Issue 1, Pages 87–114, ISSN (Online) 1868-4602, ISSN (Print) 1868-4599, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/kantyb-2014-0106.

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