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Philosophy 1 Lecture Day 13.docx

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George Mattey

Philosophy Lecture Day 13 • Much of metaphysics concerns ontology, theories about what is real and what is not real • The main ontological question discussed thus far has been whether Platonic forms are real: 1. Plato held that the forms are real 2. Aristotle denied the reality of the Forms • We have seen some attempted proofs of Gods existence byAquinas whose approach was closer to Aristotle. • We can say that the objects of our though or conception exist in the understanding. • Abeing that exists in the understanding will be said to exist. • In general, existing does not guarantee existing as such a thing might only exist in the understanding. • Is there anything which, if it exists, must exist? • Anslem stated that “it was a fool against whom my argument in the Proslogium was directed” • The argument is supposed to show that to deny the existence of God is foolish. • Anyone who understands what God is (and so for whom God exists) cannot consistently deny that God exists. • The first move in the argument is the definition of what God is • God is a being than which nothing greater can be conceived(NGC) • Then the claim against the fool is that if he can conceive of NGC, denying its existence would be inconsistent. • The next step would be that if it is inconsistent to deny the existence of NGC then an NGC exists. • If Anselm is right then God’s existence follows from the very conception of God as an NGC • Every object of conception exists in the understanding. • Anselm’s argument assumes that whatever is conceived as existing in the understanding can be conceived as existing in reality outside the understanding. • Anyone who can conceive of x can conceive of x as existing • The heart of the argument is the comparison of the degree of greatness of what is conceived. • Greatness can be considered in two ways: 1. Qualitatively 2. Existentially • Examples
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