Essay on Anselm’s ontological argument and the response from Gaunilo

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  • Created on: 06-05-12 08:01

Explain Anselm’s ontological argument and the response from Gaunilo (25)

Anselm was a philosopher who created the ontological argument in his book Prosologian. He states that the definition of God is that than which nothing greater can be conceived and that existence is a predicate (characteristic) of God. This argument is deductive as it concludes from its premises and it is a priori as it is known prior to experience. Gaunilo is another philosopher who rejected this argument with the use of his perfect island analogy.

Firstly, Anselm reflected on Psalm 14 which stated that the fool said in his heart there was no God. Anselm stated that this could not possibly be true because the fool has grasped the concept of God; therefore it is contradictory to say that there is no God and when you have an idea of God. This led him to create his first version of his argument. He stated that the definition of God is that than nothing greater can be conceived and that something that can be through of in the min (in intellectu) and in reality (in re) is better than something that only exists in intellectu. Since God is the greatest conceivable being in thought, he must therefore

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