Conceivability and Possibility

In Graham Oppy (ed.), The Ontological Argument (Cambridge Classic Philosophical Arguments Series). pp. 214-237 (2018)
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Some people might be tempted by modal ontological arguments from the possibility that God exists to the conclusion that God in fact exists. They might also be tempted to support the claim that possibly God exists by appealing to the conceivability of God’s existence. In this chapter, I introduce three constraints on an adequate theory of philosophical conceivability. I then consider and develop both imagination-based accounts of conceivability and conceptual coherence-based accounts of conceivability. Finally, I return to the modal ontological argument and consider whether the premise that possibly God exists can be supported by some conceiving.

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Joshua Spencer
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee


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