Idealism and the Ontological Argument

British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (5):993-1014 (2012)
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The ontological proof became something of a signature argument for the British Idealist movement and this paper examines how and why that was so. Beginning with an account of Hegel's understanding of the argument, it looks at how the thesis was picked up, developed and criticized by the Cairds, Bradley, Pringle-Pattison and others. The importance of Bradley's reading in particular is stressed. Lastly, consideration is given to Collingwood's lifelong interest in the proof and it is argued that his attention is best understood as a direct continuation of theirs. In view of the fact that recent commentators have tried to draw a sharp line between Collingwood's approach to metaphysics and ontology and that of his predecessors, the establishment of this connection calls for a measure of reassessment on both sides



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Critique of Pure Reason.I. Kant - 1787/1998 - Philosophy 59 (230):555-557.
Critique of Pure Reason.Immanuel Kant - 1998 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Edited by J. M. D. Meiklejohn. Translated by Paul Guyer & Allen W. Wood.
Phenomenology of Spirit.Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel - 1977 - Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edited by Arnold V. Miller & J. N. Findlay.
Appearance and Reality: A Metaphysical Essay.Francis Herbert Bradley - 1893 - London, England: Oxford University Press.

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