Blogging through Anselm’s Monologion

anselm

Monologion

Sections 1 & 2:

Differing things can both be said to be “good,” yet it is clear they are not the same thing. They are good though a greater good.

This ultimate good is good through itself. Anselm calls this the supreme good and ascribes the predicate “existence” to it.

Section 3:

Everything that exists exists through something or nothing. Obviously not through nothing.

There is either one or more things through which everything exists. Either one of these options will ultimately reduce to one thing (cf. p. 13 for a fuller discussion). Anything that exists through something other than itself is necessarily less than that thing through which it exists. Anselm calls this the divine essence.

Creation ex nihilo

Things didn’t spring from nothing as from a void.  Rather, they pre-existed in the Divine Mind (sec. 9). The Supreme Essence creates through an “inner verbalization” (12).

Back to the main argument (sec. 15): “Now it is quite out of bounds to imagine that there could be some P true of the substance of the supreme nature such that ~P would be better in some respect.”  

Sect. 16: answering the “what kind” question.

The supreme nature is what it is through itself and not through another.

God and Time

Sect. 21 gives the standard account of God’s timelessness. The Supreme Essence is not spatially in time.  Rather, it is present as a whole simultaneously to all places and times.

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