That Anselm's God Exists and Gaunilo's Island Does Not

Date

2019

Authors

Campbell, Richard

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Springer

Abstract

Scholars were greatly indebted to Max Charlesworth for publishing in 1965 the Latin text of Anselm’s Proslogion, together with his own translation and commentary. The intense discussion this argument has received since then has, however, clarified a number of points about the logic of this argument. Its first premise is not a definition of God, and that identification is one of the conclusions of a three-stage argument. Also, the much-discussed issue of the relation of Chap. 3 to Chap. 2 has now been clarified: that the premise with which Anselm begins Chap. 3 is entailed by the conclusion of Chap. 2. For that reason, substituting a description of anything other than God for Anselm’s formula, such as Gaunilo’s Lost Island, entails that that thing both can and could not be thought not to exist. So, no such substitution is legitimate.

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Citation

Source

Type

Book chapter

Book Title

Considering Religions, Rights and Bioethics: For Max Charlesworth

Entity type

Access Statement

License Rights

DOI

10.1007/978-3-030-18148-2_10

Restricted until

2037-12-31