The validity of our position may be tested by considering some recent criticisms of the Anselmian argument, particularly as the argument is presented by Malcolm.16
(a) The 'second argument' (from necessary existence as a predicate) is held ( Allen, Abelson, Penelhum) to imply the principle of the 'first argument', that existence is a predicate, which, as Malcolm himself says, is invalid. Yet that existence in the one case of Perfection is a genuine predicate is quite compatible, as we have seen, with its not being so elsewhere. The critics are indeed right in holding that existence must always have a contingent aspect, for it implies a step from the abstract to a particular concrete case and thus a passage from one logical type to another--a passage, moreover, in the direction of greater definiteness, since the concrete instance must have further qualities not specified in the predicate that is being considered. That such a step in its particularity should be entirely necessary would be sheer contradiction. But the ontological Proof, when employed in a neoclassical system, need not take this step to be necessary.
Consider any predicate, H: if it is actualized in a certain way, or by a certain concrete instance, it is always possible to conceive it as actualized in another way, by another instance. If H means human, or 'rational animal living on the earth', there might have been such animals different in each case from any which have actually existed. There might also have been no human animals at all; but this is a further____________________