Volume 1, April 2008
Descriptions of God
A Critique of Anselm’s Ontological Argument
This paper uses the lessons gathered from a brief consideration of the workings of substantive descriptive phrases to develop two objections to Anselm’s ontological proof of God’s existence. First, one’s understanding of the definition of God does not, as Anselm claims, guarantee that God exists in one’s understanding. Second, the proof depends on a flawed interpretation of the denial of God’s existence. The paper concludes by discussing the broader significance of this second objection.