On The Logical Formalization of Ansem's Ontological Argument

Revista Brasileira de Filosofia da Religião 2 (1):142–161 (2015)
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Abstract

he general theme of this paper is the issue of formalization in philosophy; in a more specific way, it deals with the issue of formalization of arguments in analytic philosophy of religion. One argument in particular – Anselm’s Proslogion II ontological argument – and one specific attempt to formalize it – Robert Adams’ formalization found in his paper “The Logical Structure of Anselm’s Arguments”, published in The Philosophical Review in 1971 – are taken as study cases. The purpose of the paper is to critically analyze Adams’ formalization with the intent to shed some light on the following questions: What are the virtues of formally analyzing arguments and the contributions, if any, of such an enterprise to the debate on Anselm’s argument? Which lessons can Adam’s work teach us about the dangers and limitations of formalization? Do these virtues and dangers teach us something about analysis of arguments in general?

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Ricardo Silvestre
Federal University of Campina Grande

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