Kant on the Possibility of an Absolute Determination of God: An Analysis of Plantinga's Response to the Ontological Argument.
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The major aim of this thesis will consist of a systematic reconstruction of Kant’s critique in relation to the three recognized species of proofs for the existence of God, viz., the ontological, cosmological and physico-theological proofs. In doing so I will focus primarily on the relevant section in the Critique of Pure Reason in order to stay true to the original source, and accordingly a close reading of this interesting section will be a logical step. Second, I will analyze a contemporary objection to Kant’s critique of the ontological proof, namely that of Alvin Plantinga. As will become clear, Kant thought that the validity of the proofs of the other two species ultimately depend on the ontological one, and accordingly this latter species of proof can be considered paramount insofar it functions as the only possible one. Although Kant explicitly refers to Descartes’ version of the ontological argument, it seems fair to assume this critique extends to Anselm’s version as well, since this latter version reflects its archetype. As such, Plantinga analyzes and reformulates Anselm’s version of the ontological argument and attempts to dismiss the relevance of Kant’s objection to both the original version and Plantinga’s own modal reformulation. Since Kant’s critique of speculative theology thus formulated had a major impact on subsequent thought insofar the possibility of such knowledge became questionable, Plantinga’s objection to an important part of just this critique can be regarded as interesting and refreshing in its own right.