Dr. Kostelecky - Philosophy 249 - 11

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Matthew Kostelecky

PHILOSOPHY 249 ST. ANSELM of CANTERBURY the PROSLOGION AUGUSTINIAN CHRISTIAN NEO-PLATONIST didn't have aristotle... THE CLAIM: IT IS INCONCEIVABLE THAT GOD DOES NOT EXIST The category of argument for the existence of god that the Proslogion fits into is: A PRIORI (before experience) as opposed to an a prosteriori which starts with observations and effects and traces it back to a first cause. an a priori argument doesnt rest on an experiential thing. it is something about the very concept of god that means that god does not exist. God is something than which nothing greater can be thought. We start with faith: Therefore, Lord, you who grant understanding to faith, grant that.... we start with faith and then ask god to help us understanding it. today we usually think that in order to believe something i have to first understand it. according to anselm, the project of the christian is to first have faith, a faith that seeks understanding. FAITH THAT SEEKS UNDERSTANDING it could be said that that is what modern man does too, that all humans must do. we must know that anselm approaches the problem with a faith in god presupposed. "for i do not seek to understand in order to believe; I believe in order to understand. For I also believe that "Unless I believe, I shall not understand."" we don't want to reduce what anselm is doing to a set of propositions, we will do that soon, but first we want to realize that this is a prayer. GOD IS THAT WHICH NOTHING GREATER CAN BE THOUGHT. IT IS BETTER TO EXIST IN REALITY THEN IN THE MIND ALONE. IF HE EXISTED ONLY IN THOUGHT AND NOT IN REALITY, I COULD THINK OF SOMETHING GREATER. what is the difference between UNDERSTANDING and THOUGHT in this text: UNDERSTANDING - intellectus, a FACULTYthat produces thought THOUGHT - just thinking a thought. any thought i have of god cannot be god, because god is better than my thought... he at no point says that god is perfect, because that would be an absolute statement, a positive statement. that than which nothing greater can be thought is understood by the fool. the fool understands this proposition. but can this be understood without the thing understood existing in reality... the painter can think up the painting before it is painted. but if it is the case that i can hold in my mind this concept in my understanding, the reality that is better than understanding is out there and better than this, which contradicts the phrase 'that-than-which-a-greate
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