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Whatever it is better to be than not to be

Publiceringsår: 2013
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 131-143
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: International Journal for Philosophy of Religion
Volym: 74
Nummer: 1
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Springer


The Anselmian claim that God is that than which a greater cannot be thought in virtue of being ‘whatever it is better to be than not to be’ may be accused of incoherence or even unintelligibility. By proposing a non-relative but apparently meaningful analysis thereof, I attempt to defend it against such criticism. In particular, I argue that ‘whatever it is better to be than not to be’ can be plausibly interpreted so as to imply very many attributes traditionally predicated of that than which a greater cannot be thought. Central to this line of reasoning is the assumption that whatever is an actual moral being is greater, simpliciter, than whatever is not an actual moral being.


  • Religious Studies
  • Anselm
  • God
  • Universal value-commensurability
  • Greatness
  • Possibilism
  • Actualism
  • Morality
  • Actuality


  • ISSN: 0020-7047

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