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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History of Western Philosophy. The rational mind, then, when it conceives of itself in thought, has with itself its image born of itself that is, its thought in its likeness, as if formed from its impression, although it cannot, except in thought alone, separate itself from its image, which image is its word. She further notes that his approach improved his negotiating position and that he finally acted at the moment that gained him the greatest leverage in advancing the interests of his see and the reform movement within the church.
He utters himself and what he creates by a single consubstantial Word. This ultimately forced Henry to order Thomas to confess his obedience to Anselm’s successor. Hence, if it has any existence through nothing, or derives existence from nothing, there is no doubt that either, whatever it is, it does not exist through itself, or derive existence from itself, or else it is itself nothing.
He identifies this absolute truth with God, who therefore forms the fundamental principle both in the existence of things and the correctness of thought.
But that these beings exist mutually through one another, no reason can admit; since it is an irrational conception that anything should exist through a being on which it confers existence.
That is, it is endowed with existence by both, although it exists through matter and from the artificer in another sense than that in which it exists through, and from, the artificer. It is, therefore, supreme Being, supreme Justness, supreme Wisdom, supreme Truth, supreme Goodness, supreme Greatness, supreme Beauty, supreme Immortality, supreme Incorruptibility, supreme Immutability, supreme Blessedness, supreme Eternity, supreme Power, supreme Unity; which is nothing else than supremely being, supremely living, etc.
Therefore, that which exists through itself exists in the greatest degree of all things. Request removal from index. His work also anticipates much of the later controversies over free will and predestination.
But it is manifest that there cannot be more than one supreme being.
For, though a man can, by meditation or representation, frame the idea of some sort of animal, such as has no existence; yet, by no means has he the power to do this, except by uniting in this idea the parts that he has gathered in his memory from objects known externally. Hence, nothing existed before, monllogion nothing will exist after, it.
Archbishop of Canterbury — Anselm and Talking about GodOxford: Therefore, That than which a greater cannot be thought exists in reality. Therefore, this Essence is always, in every way, nonologion identical with itself; and it is never in any way different from itself, even accidentally.
For he does not, like man, ever fail to express what he conceives. And, indeed, nothing is ordinarily regarded as good, except either for some utility — as, for instance, safety is called good, and those things which promote safety –or for some honorable character — as, for instance, beauty is reckoned to be good, and what promotes beauty.
But certainly that is not a simple, unmixed good, at whose will the supreme good perishes. It is, then, everywhere, and throughout all things, and in all. By one and the same Word, then, he expresses himself and whatever he has made.
But that which is such is the monoolgion and best of all existing beings. But, whatever begins to exist from or through something, is by no means identical with that from or through which it begins to exist.
But how is it supremely immutable, if it can, I will not say, bebut, be conceived of, as variable by virtue of accidents? So the supreme Being, and to be in the highest degree, and being in the highest degree, bear much the same relations, one to another, as the light and to light and lucent.
It is easy, then, for one to say to himself: He was elected abbot in upon the death of Herluin, the founder and first abbot of Bec. But, since this is always false, as often as it is assumed an irreconcilable contradiction follows. But perhaps nothing of this ambiguity will remain if — as the reality of a man is said to be the living man, but the likeness or image of a man in his picture — so the reality of being is conceived of as in the Word, whose essence exists so supremely that in a certain sense it alone exists; while in these things which, in comparison with that Essence, are in some sort non-existent, and, yet were made something through, and according to, that Word, a kind of imitation of that supreme Essence is found.
But, since it is already manifest that the supreme Spirit is one only, and altogether indivisible, this his expression must be so consubstantial with him, that they are not two spirits, but one. In addition to Gaunilo, other notable objectors to its reasoning include Thomas Aquinas and Immanuel Kantwith the most thorough analysis having been done by Zalta and Oppenheimer.
BUT I seem to see a truth that compels me to distinguish carefully in what sense those things which were created may be said to have been nothing before their creation.
But, in no wise does the supreme Nature exist through another, nor is it later or less than itself or anything else. First, then, let us see whether the supreme Nature can exist, as a whole, in individual places, either at once in all, or at different times, in different places. But that which is supremely good is also supremely great.
Hence, to any being, to whose spatial extent or duration no bound can be set, either by space or time, no place or time is properly attributed.
Then, let us make the same inquiry regarding the times at which it can exist.
THEREFORE, not only are all good things such through something that is one and the same, and all great things such through something that is one and the same; but whatever is, apparently exists through something that is one and the same. If, then, the conclusion reached in the preceding chapter is understood in this sense, that with the exception of the supreme Being all things have been created by that Being from nothing, that is, not from anything; just as this conclusion consistently follows the preceding arguments, so, from it, nothing inconsistent is inferred; although it may be said, without inconsistency or any contradiction, that what has been created by the creative Substance was created from nothing, in the way that one frequently says a rich man has been made from a poor man, or that one has recovered health from sickness; that is, he who was poor before, is rich now, as he was not before; and he who was ill before, is well now, as he was not before.
But, rather ought this nothing to be resisted, lest so many structures of cogent reasoning be stormed by nothing ; and the supreme good, which has been sought and found by the light of truth, be lost for nothing. In no wise, therefore, has it had inception through or from another, or through or from nothing.
In other words, the philosopher can trace the conceptual relations among goodness, justice, and mercy, and show that God not only can but must have all three; but no human reasoning can hope to show why God displays his justice and mercy in precisely the ways in which he does.
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