Shokhin Vladimir

Substantiations of the Existence of God: new attempt of classificatory analysis

Shokhin Vladimir (2017) "Substantiations of the Existence of God: new attempt of classificatory analysis ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia. Religiovedenie, 2017, vol. 73, pp. 13-29 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturI201773.13-29


This article gives a critical analysis of old-established stereotypes about substantiations of the existence of God. The attention is focused on their identifi cation as “proofs” and, in more detail, on their formal division into the a priori and a posteriori types and the “material” division into primary and secondary (and, correspondingly, into primary and secondary within both groups as well). The article suggests their defi nition as dialectical abductive conclusions (from the better explanation) and proposes the division into the arguments from the common sense, from metaphysical principles and from “spiritual recognition”. The article also demonstrates that most actual and persuasive substantiations are located in the fi rst group of arguments, which were developed and are developing in topical polemical dialogue with real-life opponents (this also enforces the position of the proponent). As for the arguments from metaphysical principles, they, not being justifi cations of the existence of God in the proper sense, disclose His attributes, having been established in the theology of the perfect Being (one may also call it Anselmian theology) that provides foundation for the entire rational theology of the classical theism that follows the substantiation of the existence of God but cannot replace these substantiations. The reason why analytical theology neglects to elaborate the substantiation of the existence of God is its present-day bias caused by the shift of focus from subjects that natural theology (theologia naturalis) had lawfully been dealing with for centuries to trespassing the territory of revelational theology (theologia revelata), which violates the boundaries of the competence of the religious mind.


analytic philosophy, philosophical theology, intercultural theology, naturala theology, abductive conclusions, dialectical controversy, illustrative arguments, metaphysical presuppositions, a priori and aposteriori, spiritual intuitions, a paradox of atheism


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Information about the author

Shokhin Vladimir

Academic Degree: Doctor of Sciences* in Philosophy;
Academic Rank: Professor;
Place of work: Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences; Goncharnaya Str. 12/1, Moscow 109240, Russian Federation;
Post: Head of the Sector of Philosophy of Religion;
ORCID: 0000-0002-2111-8740;
Email: vladshokhin@yandex.ru.

*According to ISCED 2011, a post-doctoral degree called Doctor of Sciences (D.Sc.) is given to reflect second advanced research qualifications or higher doctorates.


The article is written within the framework of the project № 15-03-00211 "Metaphysics in the intercultural space" supported by RFBR Foundation