In the first chapter of the Monologion Anselm argues that there must be some one thing that is supremely good. The Monologion begins with several arguments for the existence of God, arguments at first glance Anselm’s project in the Monologion might seem rather fishy. Ratio, Intelligere, and Cogitare in Anselm’s Ontological ine Nolan – – Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association.

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Dialectic and Theology in the Eleventh CenturyLeiden: But, if neither of these suppositions is conceivable, and both these facts cannot exist without truth, it is impossible even to conceive that truth has either beginning or end. But Henry was as intent as William had been on maintaining royal jurisdiction over the Church, and Anselm found himself in exile again from to Hence, though of beings of this class it is with all truth asserted that one and the same whole cannot exist simultaneously, as a whole, in different places or times; in the case of those beings which are not of this class, no such conclusion is necessarily reached.

Now, the first two kinds of expression are in the language of one’s race. He was elected abbot in upon the death of Herluin, the founder and first abbot of Bec. Faith for Anselm is more a volitional state than an epistemic state: WHY, then, should I have any further doubt regarding that question which I dismissed above as doubtful, namely, whether this expression consists of more words than one, or of one?

SINCE the same meaning is not always attached to the phrase, “existence through” something, or, to the phrase, “existence derived from” something, very diligent inquiry must be made, in what way all existing beings exist through the supreme Nature, or derive existence from it. But its eternity is nothing else than itself. For, by a like course of reasoning to that by which it has been gathered that all existing beings exist through some one being, hence that being alone exists through itself, and others through another than themselves — by a like course of reasoning, I say, it can be proved that whatever things live, live through some one being; hence that being alone lives through itself, and others through another than themselves.

But what is the inconsistency between susceptibility to certain facts, called accidentsand natural immutability, if from the undergoing of these accidents the substance undergoes no change? Urban refused but commissioned him to prepare a defence of the Western doctrine of the procession of the Holy Spirit against representatives from the Greek Church.

For, when I think of a man I know, in his absence, the vision of my thought forms such an image as I have acquired in memory through my ocular vision and this image is the word corresponding to the man I express by thinking of him.


For, though every substance is susceptible of admixture of difference, or, at any rate, susceptible of mutation by accidents, the immutable purity of this Being is inaccessible to admixture or mutation, in any form.

The peculiar double-nature of consciousness, memory, and intelligence represent the relation of the Father to the Son.

Anselm of Canterbury – Wikipedia

And, when it is said to be just through itself, nothing else is understood than that it is just through justness. For although the theistic proofs are borne of an active love of God seeking a deeper knowledge of the beloved, the proofs themselves are intended to be convincing even to unbelievers.

But God is that than which no greater can be thought, so he monologgion be omnipotent. There is, therefore, some one being which is supremely good, and supremely great, that monolobion, the highest of all existing beings.

But it is evident that in no wise does anything exist through nothing. For example, a horse is better than wood, and a human being is anseln excellent than a horse.

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Records during this period are scanty, but both sides of Anselm’s immediate family appear to have been dispossessed by these decisions [8] in favour of their extended relations.

That there is something that is the best, the greatest, the highest, of all existing things. And, moreover, it does not exist through nothing, because it is utterly inconceivable that what is something should exist through nothing. If he expresses himself eternally, his Word is eternally with him. Anselm defends 1 by showing how we can form a conception of that than which a greater cannot be thought on the basis of our experience and understanding of those things than which a greater can be thought.

So it turns out that omnipotence actually entails the inability to lie.

This chapter examines Anselm’s arguments in the Monologion for the existence of God, showing how those arguments fail because Anselm illicitly takes for granted the metaphysically peculiar nature of the being whose existence he is trying to prove. Cur Deus Homo “Why God was a Man” was written from to once Anselm was already archbishop of Anaelm [25] as a response for requests to discuss the Incarnation.

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According to the doctrine of divine impassibility, God is invulnerable to suffering. Wherefore, if it shall appear to any man that I have offered in this work any thought that is either too novel or discordant with the truth, I ask him not to denounce me at once as one who boldly seizes upon new ideas, or as a maintainer of falsehood; but let him first read diligently Augustine’s books on the Trinity, and then judge my treatise in the light of those.


As in his earlier works, Anselm instead held that Adam ‘s sin was borne by his descendants through the change in human nature which occurred during the Fall. For they designate by the word substance that attribute of God which we designate by the word person. But this impious falsehood the whole cogency of the truth that was shown above refutes and overthrows, through a clear argument.

Just as all things were made through the Supreme Being, so they are sustained through it. Yet, seeing that it not only most certainly exists, but exists in the highest degree of all things; and since the essence of anything is usually called its substance, doubtless if any worthy name can be given it, there is no objection to our calling it substance.

What, then, is to be our position regarding the Word by which all things are expressed, and through which all were created? Their willing of happiness would have had its ultimate origin in God and not in the angels themselves. This Nature was not brought into existence with the help of any external cause, yet it does not exist through nothing, or derive existence from nothing.

But before we look at Anselm’s understanding of the divine attributes, we should turn to the famous proof in the Proslogion.

Health care Schools Universities. And since, as the reasons set forth above show, it cannot exist otherwise, it must so be in all existing things, that it is one and the same, perfect whole in every individual thing simultaneously.

It therefore exists finitely, at some time and place, or everywhere and always. What it has, it always has; what it is, it always is; what it does, it always does.

Catholic University of America Press. As later Platonists, including Augustine, develop this idea, temporal beings have their existence piecemeal; they exist only in this tiny sliver of a now, which is constantly flowing away from them and passing into nothingness.

David Bradshaw University of Kentucky.

Anselm of Canterbury

For, apparently it is by virtue of one quality, that a horse is called good, because he is strong, and by virtue of another, that he is called good, because he is swift. Even for an Augustinian like Anselm, the claim that it is better to lack parts than to have them is less than intuitively compelling, so Anselm offers further arguments for that claim.

What, then, is to be our understanding of the term nothing?