DO DESCARTES AND ST. THOMAS AGREE ON THE ONTOLOGICAL PROOF?
Contrary to received opinion, Descartes’ view on the merits of the ontological proof may actually agree with that of Thomas Aquinas, whose rejection of the a priori existence proof has stocked the armories of anti-Anselmians ever since. In a rarely noted passage of the First Replies, Descartes claims not to differ in any respect from Thomas on the proof, a claim that gains sense in light of recent work on the Fifth Meditation. That work in turn reveals a well-founded, if surprising, understanding of the Cartesian proof and of Cartesianism's true relation to Thomism.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Philosophy Providence College
Publication date: 2008-12-01