Forum Philosophicum

Volume 15, Issue 1, Autumn 2010

Eric Wilson
Pages 37-44

The Ontological Argument Revisited
A Reply To Rowe

Saint Anselm’s Ontological Argument is perhaps the most intriguing of all the traditional speculative proofs for the existence of God. Yet, his argument has been rejected outright by many philosophers. Most challenges stem from the basic conviction that no amount of logical analysis of a concept that is limited to the bounds of the “understanding” will ever be able to “reason” the existence in “reality” of any thing answering such a limited concept. However, it is not the intent of this paper to prove or disprove Anselm’s argument. Rather, in this paper we concern ourselves with arriving at a sound interpretation of Anselm’s leading critic – Immanuel Kant. Kant put forth perhaps the most vaunted criticism of Anselm’s argument. However, Kant has been perhaps the most misunderstood objector to Anselm’s argument. This paper confirms that charge, simultaneously offering what I believe to be a sound interpretation of Kant’s criticism.