The Arguments

  • Jonathan Barnes
Part of the New Studies in the Philosophy of Religion book series (NSPR)


In the preface to his Proslogion Anselm audaciously claims discovery of ‘a single formula which needs no other to prove itself but itself alone, and which by itself suffices to establish that God truly is, and that he is the greatest good needing no other, and that which everything needs if it is to be and be well, and whatever else we believe about divine being’ (93.6–10). Anselm published his argument in 1077 or 1078. The dispute immediately kindled was bright but brief; and after Anselm’s death his argument lay fallow for some hundred years. Then, in the thirteenth century, it was widely debated, and widely accepted (Daniels; Charlesworth, pp. 3–7), until it received the authoritative disapproval of St Thomas Aquinas.


Thirteenth Century Christian Faith Logical Argument Conceptual Truth Ontological Argument 
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Copyright information

© Jonathan Barnes 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Barnes
    • 1
  1. 1.Oriel CollegeOxfordUK

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