Kant1 - Kant's Arguments for the Dependency of the...

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Kant's Arguments for the Dependency of the Cosmological Argument on the Ontological Argument It is very clear that Kant believed that the cosmological argument depends on the ontological argument. Kant was confident that, since the ontological argument can be shown to fail, the same fate must then befall the cosmological argument. However, it is much less clear why Kant believed this dependence to hold. It seems that he has several, independent lines of argument in mind. The key connection between the two arguments is the idea of necessary existence. Since God's existence is included in His nature, according to the first premise of the ontological argument, it is clear that we can infer, not only that God exists, but that He exists necessarily. Similarly, the primary conclusion of the cosmological argument is that something exists necessarily, which necessary being we can identify with God. Thus, the same concept appears in both arguments. However, this fact alone is not enough to show that the cosmological argument depends on the ontological argument. One possible argument for this dependency that seems to be implicit in Kant's discussion is this: the cosmological argument presupposes that necessary existence is at least possible, since if it is not possible, it cannot be actual. If necessary existence is possible, then there would be a possible nature that includes existence as one of its essential features. This would make existence a property, contrary to what Kant established in his discussion of the ontological argument. There are at least two things wrong with this argument. First, the cosmological argument does not depend on first assuming that necessary existence is possible. Instead, the argument tries to
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This note was uploaded on 11/09/2011 for the course PHI PHI2010 taught by Professor Jorgerigol during the Fall '09 term at Broward College.

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Kant1 - Kant's Arguments for the Dependency of the...

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