more from Immanuel Kant

Single Idea 4475

[catalogued under 7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 1. Nature of Existence]

Full Idea

We do not make the least addition to a thing when we declare the thing 'is'. Otherwise it would not be exactly the same thing that exists, but something more than we had thought in the concept, so we could not say the exact object of my concept exists.

Gist of Idea

Saying a thing 'is' adds nothing to it - otherwise if my concept exists, it isn't the same as my concept


Immanuel Kant (Critique of Pure Reason [1781], B628/A600)

Book Reference

Kant,Immanuel: 'Critique of Pure Reason', ed/tr. Guyer,P /Wood,A W [CUO 1998], p.567

A Reaction

This still strikes me as a wonderful objection to the ontological argument for God. It raises the question of what 'is' does mean. Is it a 'quantifier'? What is the ontological status of a quantifier?

Related Idea

Idea 5612 You add nothing to the concept of God or coins if you say they exist [Kant]