Vernieuwde belangstelling voor de godsbewijzen: Met speciale aandacht voor de bijdrage Van Charles Hartshorne

Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 42 (1):75 - 97 (1980)
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Abstract

In this article the author shows Harthorne's important contribution to the revival of modern interest in the proofs of God's existence. He gives a short exposition of Harthorne's philosophy as far as that is relevant to our understanding of the superiority of the neo-classical concept of God (in comparison with classical theories) to face critical questions as to the validity of the ontological argument. The author analyses Harthorne's ontological argument and examines the following points of critique : (i) Existence is not a predicate. (ii) The concept of a perfect being as well as the concept of a greatest number is meaningless. (iii) In the ontological argument the logical type fallacy is committed : Just as the universal ‘humanity’ is not human so ‘perfection’ is not perfect. (iv) In the ontological argument the paradox of the abstractness of the necessary is present. (v) The ontological argument forces us to accept an objectionable Aristotelian essentialism. (vi) The ontological argument jumps incorrectly from a de dicto modality to a de re modality. The author shows that these objections can be answered satisfactorily in Harthorne's neo-classical metaphysics. He discusses further a modal reconstruction of the cosmological argument (of his own) and shows that this establishes an argument for Harthorne's God conception. Finally he asks two critical questions. Hartshorne does not sufficiently acknowledges the fact that there are more than one logical system so that a choice must be made, which brings in an ‘existential’ moment in philosophy. Further he wonders as to whether Harthorne's temporal interpretation of modalities is correct. In an appendix written in English the author discusses modern reconstructions of the ontological and cosmological argument with the help of modern symbolic logic

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