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  David Pensgard
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  Purcellville, VA 20132
Research Interests           [Printable CV]

AOS:
G.W.F. Hegel, German Idealism
Ontological Arguments

AOC:
Metaphysics / Ontology (Ancient – Contemporary)
Phenomenology (Husserl, Internal-Time Consciousness)
Philosophy of Time (Ancient – Analytic – Continental)
Philosophy of Religion
Formal/Symbolic Logic
   


Education

PhD Philosophy
     Catholic University of America, Washington, D. C.
     Dissertation (see below); Class List
     (2010
- 2018)

MA  Religious Studies
     Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA
     Concentration: Philosophy of Religion
     Thesis; Class List
     (2004 - 2009)


BA  Biology / Art Theory & Practice
     Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
     Concentration: Neurobiology
     (1991 - 1996)

Graduate Hours and Class Lists:
     Doctorate Program (Catholic Univ. of America)
     Community Scholar Program (Univ. of Virginia)
     Masters Program (Liberty Univ.)


Dissertation (available upon request)

Title:
     HEGEL'S MODAL ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT

Committee:
     Director: Dr. Antón Barba-Kay
     Readers:  Dr. Michael Rohlf and
               Dr. Timothy Noone

 
Topic Details:

     Hegel broadens the definition of Ontological Argument beyond the normal scope of arguments for the existence of God. He is no theist himself, but he makes use of the argument within his own philosophy. Though he analyzes the arguments of Anselm, Descartes, Leibniz, and others, he also presents his own ontological argument, but this is not generally recognized. His argument is formal, and his philosophy allows for a certain approach to formal deduction, but this too is not generally recognized. It is also, surprisingly but defensibly, a modal deduction. While Hegel's own writings contain ample evidence of this, this particular assertion about Hegel is innovative.
     I defend these claims by calling out the formal characteristics of the argument through textual analysis (Ch.I), defending the idea that Hegel's philosophy allows for such an argument (Ch.II), and revealing the ways in which it is integrated into the rest of his philosophical system (Ch.III). The conclusion (Ch.IV) is that Hegel has given us the key to interpreting his philosophy by fashioning his Absolute Identity Thesis in the form of a modal disjunctive syllogism that functions as an ontological argument.

[Compare Hegel's argument with the traditional definition of an ontological argument: Read More

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