Kant vs. The Ontological Argument
Synthetic and Analytic Propositions
- Two kinds of Judgments:
- Analytic - any proposition which is true in virtue of the meaning of the terms (i.e.,
one whose predicate is contained in the subject; denial creates contradiction)
- All bachelors are unmarried men.
- Squares have four equal sides.
- All bodies are extended.
- Synthetic - any proposition which is true in virtue of some non-definintional fact about
the world (i.e., one whose predicate is not contained in the subject; denial does not create
- John is a bachelor.
- Feathered bipeds have wings.
- All bodies are heavy.
- A Prioir/A Posteriori
- A Priori - any proposition which is known via reason alone
- A Posteriori - any proposition which requires experience to be known
- Objection to the necessary existence of God:
- Judgements are either about the world, or about logical truthes, but neither determine
how the world really is.
- All existential judgements are synthetic, not analytical
- Existence is not a proper predicate (it does not add content to the meaning or
definition of a term)
- Existence cannot be a proper part of any definition.
NOTE: In reference to the a priori, contradiction is the only criterion of impossibility.
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