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Proslogion: including Gaunilo Objections and Anselm's Replies

3.42  ·  Rating Details  ·  112 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
The Proslogion (Latin Proslogium; English translation, Discourse on the Existence of God), written in 1077–1078, was written as a prayer, or meditation, by the medieval cleric Anselm which serves to reflect on the attributes of God & endeavors to explain how God can have qualities which often seem contradictory. In the course of this meditation, the first known formula ...more
Paperback, 80 pages
Published April 15th 2013 by St. Augustines Press (first published 1077)
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Anselm of Canterbury, a Benedictine monk who was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury in 1093, composed a well-known ontological proof for the existence of God, which appears in this work of his. It reads as follows:

"Therefore, Lord, who grant understanding to faith, grant me that, in so far as you know it beneficial, I understand that you are as we believe and you are that which we believe. Now we believe that you are something than which nothing greater can be imagined.

Then is there no such natu
Ken Moten
I have for about a year been trying to get to St. Anselm of Canterbury and now I finally get to give my short impression of him and his innovation that changed philosophy. One of the main reasons I found out about him is that his feast day happens to be on my birthday so, yay for coincidence. While I'm not going to give a full run-down of this work I will give some of my main impressions of it.

So for as we know this is the seminal piece of philosophical work that introduced the ontological argu
Apr 27, 2016 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in philosophy

The original title of the book, Fides Quaerens Intellectum (Faith Seeking Understanding), is a good description of what Anselm was trying to do with this work. From all the evidence there is, it seems he already believed all the conclusions to the arguments in the work, but his purpose was to strengthen his faith by backing up his beliefs with sound arguments. He does seem to succeed for the most part. Everything he says about God is logical and in accordance with Catholic theology, and he offer

Paul D.  Miller
I was pleasantly surprised by the heartfelt prayers and the earnestness which pervades this little pamphlet. Some of the theosophical speculations are enjoyable. Anslem errs horribly when he tries to reconcile God’s justice and mercy without a single reference to Christ, the cross, or penal substitution. That passage demonstrates the importance of keeping theology well grounded in Scripture. Anselm also seems to blur the line between the Fall and the noetic effects thereof, as if the Fall was co ...more
Erik Graff
Jul 15, 2011 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ontological argument fans
Recommended to Erik by: Paul Schaich
Shelves: philosophy
I took The Philosophy of Religion course at Grinnell College during the first semester of 1973/74 with Paul Schaich, a professor new to the school that term.

Dr. Schaich was a double Ph.D. His first degree was in physics. Reading Heidegger's Being and Time, however, upset him enough to change over to philosophy.

Schaich was unlike any other teacher I'd ever had. First, he wasn't much interested in religion at all. We read what the department of religion required, books like Rudolf Otto's Idea of t
David S. T.
I got around to reading this after I finished Descartes Meditation on First Philosophy. I started it because it seems that a very similar proof for God was used (and about 500 years earlier) so I wanted to see the original in its context. The proof presented here, later called the ontological argument, basically says that one can imagine a being which none greater can exist, for this being to be imagined then he must exist because something which does exist is greater than something which doesn' ...more
Arkar Kyaw
This kid is smart. The ontological argument is a powerful one which I guess we would keep talking about in analytical philosophy. The only problem I am having is that his argument relies heavily on the superlative quality of God. Can I say God is the biggest douchebag that than which no greater douchebag can be thought? Nah, that would be blasphemy. Oh well.

Read only chapter 2, 3, and the replies. The rest is irrelevant.
Jacob Stubbs
Jul 02, 2015 Jacob Stubbs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally began as part of a project over Thomas' argument for happiness in the realm of practical reasoning, I decided it would be good to become reacquainted with Anselm's infamous work. Unfortunately, my interests for the Thomas Aquinas project changed, and so this fell by the wayside. I recently reread the Proslogion for the heck of it, and I have to think that, were I a curmudgeonly Puritan, I would view Anselm as engaging in idolatrous metaphysical speculation. Since I am not so curmudgeo ...more
Jacob Stubbs
Jan 20, 2015 Jacob Stubbs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
Another great work from the Medieval period. Anselm uses this book as a way of describing his "Faith seeking understanding". He attempts to solve various problems in philosophic theology, such as the problem of evil. His solution is very Augustinian. He also focuses on proving various attributes of God, after proving God's existence using the ontological argument (which might be flawed, mind you). His attributes might cause some concern, timelessness and simplicity in particular. This changes mi ...more
Read for Great Con: Medieval Synthesis
Christopher McCaffery
It's pretty good mystagogy.
Joshua Smart
Jul 10, 2008 Joshua Smart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Ah. The ontological proof. Good times. Good times.
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Saint Anselm of Canterbury (c.1033 - 1109), also called Anselm of Aosta after his birthplace and Anselm of Bec after his monastery, was a Benedictine monk, philosopher, and prelate of the Church, who held the office of Archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109. Called the founder of scholasticism, he has been a major influence in Western theology and is famous as the originator of the ontological ...more
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