Kant on the Cosmological ArgumentSkip other details (including permanent urls, DOI, citation information)
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In the first Critique Kant levels two main charges against the cosmological argument. First, it commits the fallacy of ignoratio elenchi. Second, in two rather different ways, it presupposes the ontological argument. Commentators have struggled to find merit in either of these charges. The paper argues that they can nonetheless be shown to have some merit, so long as one takes care to correctly identify the version of the cosmological argument that Kant means to be attacking. That turns out to be a charitably modified version of the argument run by Christian Wolff. Having described Kant’s target argument, the paper goes on to explicate his criticisms and to weigh their merits.