Petrus Alfonsi and His Medieval Readers

Journal of the History of Philosophy 34 (2):295-297 (1996)

BOOK REVIEWS 295 underscore God's existence sola ratione actualizes the biblical narrative, not by request- ing personal satisfaction as he hopes to find the sought-after argument, but, in good monastic-penitential fashion, by having this very argument command redemption for all of humanity. Risking far more than personal disappointment, Anselm's quest for God sola ratione merges prayer and proof to such an extent that any distinction must forthwith be abandoned. Schufreider approaches the Proslogion as a mixture of prayer and proof, but he is not ready to abandon their distinction. Consequently, he not only isolates chapters 2-4 from chapter l, but also from chapters 5-26. On 2o8ff. he speaks of Anselm's "theologizing" of the ontological reality of GOd in those later chapters. In a recent article Stephen Gersh has suggested that the earlier and later parts of the Proslogion are connected by the following unstated premiss: "when two terms are compared as greater and lesser, then God corresponds to the greater. ''1 Whether or not one accepts this premiss, it suppresses in Anselmian fashion the distinction between prayer and proof in favor of an approach sola ratione. In the concluding chapter , Schufreider positions Anselm's "rational mysticism" between the unsystematic but intuitive argumentation of Augustine and the systematic reasoning which expressly lacks vision of Aquinas . Although Schufreider is painting with..
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DOI 10.1353/hph.1996.0034
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