The first statement, the Principle of the Indiscernibility of Identicals,is widely acknowledged to be a necessary truth about numerically identicalthings; the second statement, the Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles,is a controversial metaphysical thesis: Leibniz believed it is true, butmany philosophers disagree with him.The Principle of the Indiscernibility of Identicals: If two thingsare identical, then they have exactly the same properties.The Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles: If two things haveexactly the same properties, then they are identical.The Doubt Argument needs only the first half of Leibnizs Law, theuncontroversial Principle of the Indiscernibility of Identicals; we can,therefore, ignore the second part.
Descartes's fifth argument for God's existence relies on an untenable notion that existence is a perfection and that it can be predicated of God. I shall first explain what Descartes's argument for God's existence is, and then present his argument in propositional form. I will then attempt to support the argument that existence is neither a perfection nor a predicate of God.
Essay Topics for Quiz #2 (on Descartes�s Meditations)
Further, predicating the existence of a most-perfect being based upon the attributes that this being is believed to possess fails to provide existence to that being. We could add many more characteristics to Descartes's list of divine attributes (Good or Just for instance), but these attributes do not predicate actual existence, rather, they describe what such a being should be like. Kant argues that existence cannot be predicated of a thing at all, and that no matter how many "predicates we may think a thing [has] . . . we do not make the least addition to the thing when we further declare that this thing " (Kant 504-5). Descartes's suggestion that "God is " relies on the grammatical construction of the copula while remaining unclear about the logical use of the of existence. It is true that the object of the of predication must necessarily exist in order to form a coherent sentence. Sentences such as "God is eternal" predicate of God; grammatically the subject of the verb must necessarily exist. But it is not at all clear that the of existence can be understood the same way. When we say "God is," logically we are really saying "for all , if is a God, then exists" (Barnes 51). In this understanding of , the divine attributes that are predicated of God (including the attribute of existence that Descartes wishes to predicate of God) can only describe what God should be like provided He actually exists. Therefore, when Descartes predicates existence of God he is uttering a grammatically coherent sentence, but a very confusing logical proposition. To say "God exists" is to say "for all , if is a God, then is existent" which is another way of saying "if God exists then He exists." Rather than predicate actual existence to God, this logical proposition merely restates the problem.
Essays and criticism on René Descartes - Critical Essays
In our thoughts we apprehend of things. These ideas may reside entirely within our thoughts or they may exist independent of our considerations of them (Descartes 143). Descartes argues that the idea of God is that He is infinite substance "[eternal, immutable], independent, all-knowing, all-powerful" to which nothing more perfect can be imagined (Descartes 149; 151). Descartes defines the more perfect as "that which contains in itself more reality" (Descartes 146), so that there are gradations of perfection beginning with the subjective phantasms, such as a chimera, and culminating with the most perfect being in God Himself. Thus, because our idea of God is one of absolute perfection, and existence contains more reality than nonexistent thoughts alone, God exists. Descartes's argument can be represented logically as:
Descartes Argument of God Free Short Essay Example
Descartes adapts this argument in the fifth meditation in ‘Meditations on First Philosophy.’ He first establishes that whenever he thinks about a triangle, there are certain properties that must be present in order for the form to be a triangle...
Descartes Argument of God - God Essay Example
This formulation of the argument is from the version in Descartes': '[T]his truth 'I am thinking, therefore I exist' [is] so solid and secure that the most extravagant suppositions of the sceptics could not overthrow it'.