Dowód ontologiczny św. Anzelma w ujęciu Nicholasa Reschera
NICHOLAS RESCHER’S INTERPRETATION OF ST. ANSELM’S ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT
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In this paper I briefly examine the empiricist interpretation of St. Anselm’s ontological proof proposed by Nicholas Rescher. Rescher writes: “I propose to classify the word ‘God’ within the category of words which cannot be given an explicit definition, but whose meaning can only be grasped within experience. On this view, a person whose history is devoid of religious experience simply cannot have an adequate grasp of the meaning of the word ‘God’. And I submit that a person who does have a basis of experience adequate to an understanding of this term, also has, ipso facto, the experiential basis of evidence adequate to underwrite rational, warranted assent to the proposition that God exists.” I find this modern re-reading of the classical text intriguing, but rather untenable, mostly because Rescher’s first premise is an alleged analogy between the term “God” and qualia-terms. However, to strengthen his point in a way, I make some observations concerning, among other things, the problem of qualia. Then I clarify his second premise, that an experience is a basis for a warranted belief by noting that one can hold that an experience of X is only a prima facie argument for the existence of X, which makes experiential evidence even less persuasive than Rescher seems to suppose.
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