Immanuel Kant

Kant vs. The Ontological Argument

Synthetic and Analytic Propositions

  1. Two kinds of Judgments:

    1. Analytic/Snythetic

      1. 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)

        1. All bachelors are unmarried men.
        2. Squares have four equal sides.
        3. All bodies are extended.

      2. 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 a contradiction)

        1. John is a bachelor.
        2. Feathered bipeds have wings.
        3. All bodies are heavy.

    2. A Prioir/A Posteriori

      1. A Priori - any proposition which is known via reason alone

      2. A Posteriori - any proposition which requires experience to be known

  2. Objection to the necessary existence of God:

    1. Judgements are either about the world, or about logical truthes, but neither determine how the world really is.

    2. All existential judgements are synthetic, not analytical

    3. Existence is not a proper predicate (it does not add content to the meaning or definition of a term)

    4. 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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