Reflections on the Logic of the Ontological Argument


Paul E. Oppenheimer and Edward N. Zalta


Studia Neoaristotelica, 4/1 (2007): 28–35.


In this paper, the authors evaluate the ontological argument they developed in their 1991 paper as to soundness. They focus on Anselm's first premise, which asserts: there is a conceivable thing than which nothing greater is conceivable. After suggesting reasons why this premise is false, the authors show that there is a reading of this premise on which it is true. Such a premise can be used in a valid and sound reconstruction of the ontological argument. This argument is developed in precise detail, but the authors show that the conclusion, the formal version of which is a reading of the claim that "God exists", doesn't quite achieve the end Anselm desired.

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