International Journal for Philosophy of Religion

, Volume 65, Issue 2, pp 87–92

Alvin Plantinga on the ontological argument


DOI: 10.1007/s11153-008-9182-9

Cite this article as:
Rowe, W.L. Int J Philos Relig (2009) 65: 87. doi:10.1007/s11153-008-9182-9


By taking ‘existence in reality’ to be a great-making property and ‘God’ to be the greatest possible being, Plantinga skillfully presents Anselm’s ontological argument. However, since he proves God’s existence by virtue of a premise, “God (a maximally great being) is a possible being”, that is true only if God actually exists; his argument begs the question of the existence of God.


AnselmMaximal greatnessMaximal excellenceBegs the question epistemically

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA