The Logic of Perfection

The Logic of Perfection

by Charles Hartshorne


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The Logic of Perfection by Charles Hartshorne

“In blunt outline the answer to the question, how do we rationally know God, is this: we find Him in all of our fundamental meanings, and if we try to purify them of involvement with deity we find that nothing unequivocal is left. All begins to dissolve in paradox. Unless we are forced to conceive God Himself in equally paradoxical terms—which might be called the question of philosophy—we are bound to stand by our meanings, God and all.”

This book, one of the handful of truly pathbreaking works in twentieth-century philosophical theology, presents Charles Hartshorne’s persuasive rehabilitation of Anselm’s Ontological Argument, recast in neoclassical form as “the Modal Proof,” along with applications of Hartshorne’s method to a variety of issues in contemporary metaphysical and religious thinking.

Charles Hartshorne authored many works, including A Natural Theology for Our Time and Anselm’s Discovery: A Re-examination of the Ontological Argument for God’s Existence.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780875480374
Publisher: Open Court Publishing Company
Publication date: 10/19/1991
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.79(d)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1Preliminary Survey3
Chapter 2Ten Ontological or Modal Proofs for God's Existence28
I.The Nature of the Problem29
II.The Neoclassical Idea of Perfection as Modal Coincidence34
III.The Religious Idea of Perfection40
IV.Twenty Objections to the Proof44
V.Bias and Short-circuited Inquiry47
VI.The Irreducibly Modal Structure of the Argument49
VII.Is Existence a Predicate?57
VIII.The Incompatibility of Perfection and Contingency58
IX.The Argument from Universal Existential Tolerance68
X.The Epistemic Proof70
XI.The Ten Marks of Contingency and the Omnibus Proof73
XII.A Theory of Existential Modality84
XIII.On Giving the Theistic Case Away89
XIV.Replies to Some Objections92
XV.Does the Divine Existence Make an Empirical Difference?108
XVI.The Barthian or Fideist Position111
XVII.Did Hume and Kant Refute the Theistic Proofs?116
Chapter 3The Wider Context: Theism as an Integral Philosophy118
Chapter 4Three Strata of Meaning in Religious Discourse133
Chapter 5Two Views of the Logic of Theism (Criticism of John Wisdom on "Gods")148
Chapter 6Freedom Requires Indeterminism and Universal Causality161
Chapter 7A World of Organisms191
Chapter 8Mind, Matter, and Freedom216
Chapter 9Science, Insecurity, and the Abiding Treasure234
Chapter 10Time, Death, and Everlasting Life245
Chapter 11Total Unity in Russian Metaphysics: Some Reactions to Zenkovsky's and Lossky's Histories263
Chapter 12Some Empty Though Important Truths280
Chapter 13The Unity of Man and the Unity of Nature298

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