ontological argument

  1. an a priori argument for the existence of God, asserting that as existence is a perfection, and as God is conceived of as the most perfect being, it follows that God must exist; originated by Anselm, later used by Duns Scotus, Descartes, and Leibniz.

Origin of ontological argument

First recorded in 1875–80
  • Also called ontological proof .

Words Nearby ontological argument

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use ontological argument in a sentence

  • If the famous ontological argument for the being of God has been refuted, we shall not, on that account, tremble for the ark.

  • Thus the argument from causation throws us back on the so-called ontological argument, whose futility has already been shown.

    History of Modern Philosophy | Alfred William Benn
  • Are you not mocking me and deceiving yourself with the old ontological argument?

    Creative Intelligence | John Dewey, Addison W. Moore, Harold Chapman Brown, George H. Mead, Boyd H. Bode, Henry Waldgrave, Stuart James, Hayden Tufts, Horace M. Kallen
  • Kant has put this point in clear light in his criticism of the ontological argument.

    Creative Evolution | Henri Bergson
  • Stewart had spoken doubtfully of the ontological argument for theology.

British Dictionary definitions for ontological argument

ontological argument

  1. the traditional a priori argument for the existence of God on the grounds that the concept itself necessitates existence: Compare cosmological argument, teleological argument

  2. any analogous argument from the nature of some concept to the existence of whatever instantiates it

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