DO DESCARTES AND ST. THOMAS AGREE ON THE ONTOLOGICAL PROOF?
Article first published online: 28 NOV 2008
© 2008 The Author. Journal compilation © 2008 University of Southern California and Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Pacific Philosophical Quarterly
Volume 89, Issue 4, pages 413–435, December 2008
How to Cite
ABBRUZZESE, J. E. (2008), DO DESCARTES AND ST. THOMAS AGREE ON THE ONTOLOGICAL PROOF?. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 89: 413–435. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0114.2008.00328.x
- Issue published online: 28 NOV 2008
- Article first published online: 28 NOV 2008
Abstract: Contrary to received opinion, Descartes’ view on the merits of the ontological proof may actually agree with that of Thomas Aquinas, whose rejection of the a priori existence proof has stocked the armories of anti-Anselmians ever since. In a rarely noted passage of the First Replies, Descartes claims not to differ in any respect from Thomas on the proof, a claim that gains sense in light of recent work on the Fifth Meditation. That work in turn reveals a well-founded, if surprising, understanding of the Cartesian proof and of Cartesianism's true relation to Thomism.