Advertisement

Existence, Fact, Reality

  • Vincent Brümmer

Abstract

IN his Meditations (chapter V), Descartes puts forward his ‘ontological’ argument for the existence of God. His argument is founded on the correspondence which according to him exists between the following three propositions: (1) ‘A triangle has three angles that total 180 degrees’, (2) ‘A mountain is adjoined by a valley’, and (3) ‘God (as a perfect being) exists’. Descartes maintains that these three propositions are similar in the following respects:
  1. (1)

    It belongs by definition to the idea of a triangle that its angles total 180 degrees; it belongs by definition to the idea of a mountain that it is adjoined by a valley; likewise, it belongs by definition to the idea of God (as a perfect being) that He possesses all perfect properties (including the property of ‘existence’).

     
  2. (2)

    Therefore it cannot be said without contradiction that the three angles of a triangle do not total 180 degrees; nor can it be said without contradiction that a mountain is not adjoined by a valley; likewise, it cannot be said without contradiction that God does not exist.

     
  3. (3)

    It follows that these three propositions about triangles, mountains and God are all necessarily true: to the subjects of these propositions (triangles, mountains and God) the predicates (‘having angles that total 180 degrees’, ‘being adjoined by a valley’, and ‘existence’, respectively) necessarily belong, because these predicates form part of the definitions of the respective subjects.

     

Keywords

Real World Prime Number Language Game Fairy Tale Ontological Concept 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Vincent Brümmer 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincent Brümmer

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations