After Aquinas, Anselm is the most significant medieval thinker. Utterly convinced of the truth of the Christian religion, he was none the less determined to try to make sense of his Christian faith, and the result is a rigorous engagement with problems of logic which remain relevant for philosophers and theologians even today. This translation provides the first opportunity to read all of Anselm's most important works in one volume.
In the Proslogion, St. Anselm presents a philosophical argument for the existence of God. Anselm's proof, known since the time of Kant as the ontological argument for the existence of God, has played an important role in the history of philosophy and has been incorporated in various forms into the systems of Descartes, Leibniz, Hegel, and others. Included in this edition of the Proslogion are Gaunilo's "A Reply on Behalf of the Fool" and St. Anselm's "The Author's (...) Reply to Gaunilo." All three works are in the original Latin with English translation on facing pages. Professor Charlesworth's introduction provides a helpful discussion of the context of the Proslogion in the theological tradition and in Anselm's own thought and writing. (shrink)
Ranging from his early treatises, the _Monologion_ and the _Proslogion_, to his three philosophical dialogues on metaphysical topics such as the relationship between freedom and sin, and late treatises on the Incarnation and salvation, this collection of Anselm's essential writings will be a boon to students of the history of philosophy and theology as well as to anyone interested in examining what Anselm calls "the reason of faith.".
To claim that Hayden White has yet to be read seriously as a philosopher of history might seem false on the face of it. But do tropes and the rest provide any epistemic rationale for differing representations of historical events found in histories? As an explanation of White’s influence on philosophy of history, such a proffered emphasis only generates a puzzle with regard to taking White seriously, and not an answer to the question of why his efforts should be worthy (...) of any philosophical attention at all. For what makes his emphasis on narrative structure and its associated tropes of philosophical relevance? What, it may well be asked, did any theory that draws its categories from a stock provided by literary criticism contribute to explicating problems with regard to the warranting of claims about knowledge, explanation, or causation that represent those concerns that philosophy typically brings to this field? Robert Doran’s anthologizing of previously uncollected pieces, ranging as they do over a literal half-century of White’s published work, offers an opportunity to identify explicitly those philosophical themes and arguments that regularly and prominently feature there. Moreover, White’s essays in this volume demonstrate a credible knowledge of and interest in mainstream analytic philosophers of his era and also reveal White as deeply influenced by or well acquainted with other important philosophers of history. White thus invites a reading of his work as philosophy, and this volume presents the opportunity for accepting it as such. (shrink)
t. 1. Monologion ; Proslogion -- t. 2. Le grammairien ; De la vérité ; La liberté du choix ; La chute du diable -- t. 3. Lettre sur l'incarnation du Verbe ; Pourquoi un Dieu-homme -- t. 4. La conception virginale et le péché originel ; La procession du Saint Esprit ; Lettres sur les sacrements de l'Église ; Du pouvoir et de l'impuissance -- t. 5. Sur l'accord de la prescience, de la prédestination et de la grâce de (...) Dieu avec le libre choix ; Prières et méditations -- t. 6. Lettres 1 à 147 (Priorat et abbatiat au Bec) -- t. 9. Histoire des temps nouveaux en Angleterre. Livres I-IV ; Vie de Saint Anselme. (shrink)
The reason of faith -- Thought and language -- Truth -- The Monologion arguments for the existence of God -- The Proslogion argument for the existence of God -- The divine attributes -- Thinking and speaking about God -- Creation and the word -- The Trinity -- Modality -- Freedom -- Morality -- Incarnation and atonement -- Original sin, grace, and salvation.
The importance of John Locke's discussion of persons is undeniable. Locke never explicitly tells us whether he thinks persons are substances or modes, however. We are thus left in the dark about a fundamental aspect of Locke's view. Many commentators have recently claimed that Lockean persons are modes. In this paper I swim against the current tide in the secondary literature and argue that Lockean persons are substances. Specifically I argue that what Locke says about substance, power, and agency commits (...) him to the claim that persons are substances. I consider the passages mode interpreters cite and show why these passages do not imply that Lockean persons are modes. I also respond to two objections anyone who thinks Lockean persons are substances must address. I show that a substance reading of Locke on persons can be sympathetic and viable. I contend that with a clearer understanding of the ontological status of Lockean persons we can gain a firmer grasp of what Locke's picture of persons looks like. Finally, once we are armed with a better understanding of Locke on substance, mode, and personhood, we can pave the way toward a more nuanced description of the early modern debate over personal identity. (shrink)
Introduction -- Anselm's classical theism -- The Augustinian legacy -- The purpose, definition, and structure of free choice -- Alternative possibilities and primary agency -- The causes of sin and the intelligibility problem -- Creaturely freedom and God as Creator Omnium -- Grace and free will -- Foreknowledge, freedom, and eternity : part I, the problem and historical background -- Foreknowledge, freedom, and eternity : part II, Anselm's solution -- The freedom of God.
One of the most basic questions an ontology can address is: How many things, or substances, are there? A monist will say, ‘just one’. But there are different stripes of monism, and where the borders between these different views lie rests on the question, ‘To what does this “oneness” apply?’ Some monists apply ‘oneness’ to existence. Others apply ‘oneness’ to types. Determining whether a philosopher is a monist and deciphering what this is supposed to mean is no easy task, especially (...) when it comes to those writing in the early modern period because many philosophers of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries include God in their ontologies. InThe Principles,Anne Finch Conway offers an ontology that is often described as being both ‘vitalist’ and ‘monist’. I take this to mean that, for Conway, all that exists is in some way alive and that if asked ‘How many things, or substances, are there?’ Conway would say, ‘Just one’. But to what does this ‘oneness’ apply? And where does the point of disagreement between Conway and her interlocutors, Hobbes, Spinoza, More, and Descartes lie? In this paper, I argue that determining the answer to this first question turns out to be quite difficult. Nevertheless, we can still make sense of the second. (shrink)
The paper discusses Anselm's account of human finitude and freedom through his discussion of what it means to receive what we have from God in De casu diaboli. The essay argues that Anselm is considering the same issue as Jean Paul Sartre in his account of receiving a gift as incompatible with freedom. De casu diaboli takes up this same question, asking about how the finite will can be free, which requires that it have something per se, when (...) there is nothing, as St. Paul asserted in Romans, that we have not received. Anselm's notion that we have two wills, one for benefit or advantage, and one for justice, allows for something to come per se from the individual who wills and also accounts for the willing of the good angels as the acceptance of what they are and have as received and, hence, as finite. The essay concludes with reflection on Sartre and Camus's The Plague taking as the central ethical and existential problem of human life, as Anselm does, the problem of finitude, and comparing their responses. (shrink)
Immanuel Kant’s moral philosophy, political philosophy, and philosophy of judgement have been and continue to be widely discussed among many scholars. The impact of his thinking is beyond doubt and his ideas continue to inspire and encourage an on-going dialogue among many people in our world today. Given the historical and philosophical significance of Kant’s moral, political, and aesthetic theory, and the connection he draws between these theories and the appropriate function and methodology of education, it is surprising that relatively (...) little has been written on Kant’s contribution to education theory. Recently, however, internationally recognized Kant scholars such as Paul Guyer, Manfred Kuehn, Richard Velkley, Robert Louden, Susan Shell, and others have begun to turn their attention to Kant’s writings on education and the role of education in cultivating moral character. _Kant and Education: Interpretations and Commentary_ has gathered these scholars together with the aim of filling this perceived void in Kant scholarship. All of the essays contained within this volume will examine either Kant’s ideas on education through an historical analysis of his texts; or the importance and relevance of his moral philosophy, political philosophy, and/or aesthetics in contemporary education theory. (shrink)
There are many reasons to include texts written by women in early modern philosophy courses. The most obvious one is accuracy: women helped to shape the philosophical landscape of the time. Thus, to craft a syllabus that wholly excludes women is to give students an inaccurate picture of the early modern period. Since it seems safe to assume that we all aim for accuracy, this should be reason enough to include women writers in our courses. This article nonetheless offers an (...) additional reason: when students are exposed to philosophical texts written by women, they learn that women have been, are, and can be philosophers. Given how underrepresented women are in philosophy, this finding is significant. If we aim to change the face of philosophy—so that it includes more women—we must include texts written by women in our syllabi. The article considers various obstacles faced by those who work to respond to this call to action. (shrink)
Saint Anselm’s proof for God’s existence in his Proslogion, as the label “ontological” retrospectively hung on it indicates, is usually treated as involving some sophisticated problem of, or a much less sophisticated tampering with, the concept of existence. In this paper I intend to approach Saint Anselm’s reasoning from a somewhat different angle.
Catharine Trotter Cockburn is best known for her Defence of Mr. Locke’s Essay of Human Understanding (1702). However very little has been said about Trotter’s treatment of Locke’s metaphysical commitments therein. In this paper I give a brief description of the history of Trotter’s Defence. Thereafter I focus on two (of the many) objections to which Trotter responds on Locke’s behalf: 1) the objection that Locke has not proved the soul immortal, and 2) the objection that Locke’s view leads to (...) the absurd consequence that our souls are in constant flux. I argue that Trotter offers a compelling response to both of these charges. This is not only because of what Trotter explicitly claims in the Defence, but also because the Defence invites and encourages the reader to return to Locke’s text. I then argue that in Trotter we find additional insights and clarifications once we move past the two objections I just mentioned, and on to the related topic of personal identity. In this short paper I am not be able to offer a full explication or evaluation of Trotter’s treatment of Locke’s metaphysical commitments. I am, however, able to show that this aspect of Trotter’s Defence warrants careful consideration and further study. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 53, Issue 2-4, pp 194 - 220 This paper offers an interpretation of Anselm of Canterbury’s semantic doctrines in _De Grammatico_, paying special attention to five distinctions present in the dialogue: _dicitur in eo quod quale/dicitur in eo quod quid, esse ut in subiecto/esse non ut in subiecto, significare/appellare, significare ut unum/significare non ut unum_ and _significare per se/significare per aliud_. It elucidates the theoretical role of these distinctions, showing that they are introduced with different purposes (...) and that conflation between them must be avoided. Three specific features of this interpretation are the following: an analysis of the distinction between _significare_ and _appellare_ in relation to the orders of intellection and predication, an account of the difference between predication _in eo quod quid/in eo quod quale_ and essential and accidental predication, and an analysis of the thesis that ‘_grammaticus_’ not only signifies _per se qualitas_, but also _per se habere_. (shrink)
Anselm’s argument for the existence of God in Proslogion 2 has a little-noticed feature: It can be properly formulated only by beings who have the ability to think of things and refer to things independently of whether or not they exist in reality. The authors explore this cognitive ability and try to make clear the role it plays in the ontological argument. Then, we offer a new version of the ontological argument, which, we argue, is sound: it is valid, (...) has true premises, and does not beg any questions against the atheist. However, the new reconstruction of the argument falls short of Anselm’s goal of producing “a single argument that would require no other for its proof than itself alone; and alone would suffice to demonstrate that God exists.” The new reconstruction requires a subsidiary argument to show that God exists in the understanding. The subsidiary argument relies on premises that are both contingent and known a posteriori. However, the somewhat amplified argument, if it is sound as the authors believe it to be, does show that God exists in reality. Moreover, the new reconstruction escapes an important recent criticism by Peter Millican (2004, 2007) against ontological arguments generally. (shrink)
In this paper we offer a reconstruction of Anselm’s account of freedom that resolves various apparent inconsistencies. The linchpin of this account is the definition of freedom. Anselm argues that the power to preserve rectitude for its own sake requires the power to initiate an action of which the agent is the ultimate cause, but it does not always require that alternative possibilities be available to the agent. So while freedom is incompatible with coercion and external causal determination, (...) an agent can, under certain circumstances, act freely even though he cannot act otherwise than he does. (shrink)
Scholars were greatly indebted to Max Charlesworth for publishing in 1965 the Latin text of Anselm’s Proslogion, together with his own translation and commentary. The intense discussion this argument has received since then has, however, clarified a number of points about the logic of this argument. Its first premise is not a definition of God, and that identification is one of the conclusions of a three-stage argument. Also, the much-discussed issue of the relation of Chap. 3 to Chap. 2 (...) has now been clarified: that the premise with which Anselm begins Chap. 3 is entailed by the conclusion of Chap. 2. For that reason, substituting a description of anything other than God for Anselm’s formula, such as Gaunilo’s Lost Island, entails that that thing both can and could not be thought not to exist. So, no such substitution is legitimate. (shrink)
Saint Anselm’s ontological argument for the existence of God, formulated nearly a millennium ago, continues to bedevil philosophers. There is no consensus about what, if anything, is wrong with it. Some philosophers insist that the argument is invalid. Others concede its validity but insist that it is unsound. A third group of philosophers maintain that Anselm begs the question. It has been argued, for example, that Anselm’s use of the name “God” in a premise assumes (or presupposes) (...) precisely what has to be proved, namely, that God exists. Another tack is to argue that the premise that God is possible implies or presupposes the conclusion that God exists, or perhaps that, in order to know that God is possible, one must know that God exists. Just as no consensus has emerged about what, if anything, is wrong with Anselm’s argument, no consensus has emerged about whether the argument begs the question. In this essay, I focus on the second type of claim made by the third group of philosophers—the claim that Anselm’s argument begs the question by assuming, as a premise, that God is possible. In particular, I focus on the argument of the contemporary analytic philosopher William Rowe, who has claimed, since at least 1975, that Anselm’s ontological argument begs the question. I argue that Rowe’s argument fails. (shrink)
A good place to start in assessing a theory of truth is to ask whether the theory under discussion is consistent with Aristotle’s commonsensical definition of truth from Metaphysics 4: “What is false says of that which is that it is not, or of that which is not that it is; and what is true says of that which is that it is, or of that which is not that it is not.”1 Philosophers of a realist bent will be delighted (...) to see that Anselm unambiguously adopts the Aristotelian commonplace. A statement is true, he says, “when it signifies that what‐is is.”2 But the theory of truth that Anselm builds on this observation is one that would surely have confounded Aristotle. For no matter what the topic, Anselm’s thinking always eagerly returns to God; and the unchallenged centrality of God in Anselm’s philosophical explorations is nowhere more in evidence than in his account of truth. Indeed, we see in the student’s opening question in De veritate that the entire discussion has God as its origin and its aim: “Since we believe that God is truth, and we say that truth is in many other things, I would like to know whether, wherever truth is said to be, we must acknowledge that God is that truth.”3 The student then reminds Anselm that in the Monologion he had argued from the truth of statements to an eternal Supreme Truth. Does this not commit Anselm (the student seems to be asking) to holding that God himself is somehow the truth of true statements? But what definition of truth could make sense of such an odd claim? Anselm is happy to take up the challenge of showing that his description of God as “Supreme Truth” is no mere metaphor, but the expression of the deepest insight into the nature of truth. An account of truth is just theology under a different name. This first distinctive characteristic of Anselm’s theory, the centrality of God as Supreme Truth, helps account for a second distinctive characteristic: its strong insistence on the unity of truth. All truth either is God or somehow reflects God; thus, one simple being provides the.... (shrink)
Ranging from his early treatises, the ’Monologion’ (a work written to show his monks how to meditate on the divine essence) and the ’Proslogion’ (best known for its advancement of the so-called ontological argument for the existence of God), to his three philosophical dialogues on metaphysical topics such as the relationship between freedom and sin, and late treatises on the Incarnation and salvation, this collection of Anselm’s essential writings will be of interest to students of the history of philosophy (...) and theology as well as to anyone interested in examining what Anselm calls "the reason of faith." (publisher). (shrink)
In an important new book on shared agency, Michael Bratman develops an account of the normative demand for the coordination of intentions amongst participants in shared agency. Bratman seeks to understand this form of normative guidance in terms of that associated with individual planning intentions. I give reasons to resist his form of reductionism. In addition, I note how Bratman’s discussion raises the interesting issue of the function or purpose of shared intention and of shared agency more generally. According to (...) Bratman, the function of shared intention is to promote interpersonal coordination of intention and action. I suggest that power sharing amongst participants must also be included as a function of shared intention. (shrink)
Anselm of Canterbury, in his work Proslogion," originated the "ontological argument" for God's existence, famously arguing that "something than which nothing greater can be conceived," which he identifies with God, must actually exist, for otherwise something greater could indeed be conceived. Some commentators have claimed that although Anselm may not have been conscious of the fact, the Proslogion "as well as his Reply to Gaunilo" contains passages that constitute a second independent proof: a "modal ontological argument" that concerns (...) the supposed logical necessity of God's existence. Other commentators disagree, countering that the alleged second argument does not stand on its own but presupposes the conclusion of the first. Anselm's Other Argument "stakes an original claim in this debate, and takes it further. There is" a second a priori" argument in Anselm, A. D. Smith contends, but it is not the modal argument past scholars have identified. This second argument surfaces in a number of forms, though always turning on certain deep, interrelated metaphysical issues. It is this form of argument that in fact underlies several of the passages which have been misconstrued as statements of the modal argument. In a book that combines historical research with rigorous philosophical analysis, Smith discusses this argument in detail, finally defending a modification of it that is implicit in Anselm. This "other argument" bears a striking resemblance to one that Duns Scotus would later employ. (shrink)
In his paper “St. Anselm’s ontological argument succumbs to Russell’s paradox” Christopher Viger presents a critique of Anselm’s Argument from the second chapter of Proslogion. Viger claims there that he manages to show that the greater than relation that Anselm used in his proof leads to inconsistency. I argue firstly, that Viger does not show what he maintains to show, secondly, that the flaw is not in the nature of Anselm’s reasoning but in Viger’s (mis)understanding of (...)Anselm as well as in Viger’s (mis)application of some set-theoretical notions. I also describe some features of Anselmian greater than relation, which indeed plays a crucial role in his Ontological Argument. Last but not least, I present the Argument itself. (shrink)
Introduction -- The pre-text : the dialectical origins of Anselm's argument -- The text -- Proslogion -- Pro insipiente -- Responsio -- Commentary on the Proslogion -- Anselm's defence and the Unum argumentum -- The medieval reception -- The modern reception -- Anselm's argument today -- Conclusion: The significance of Anselm's argument.