Proslogion and the Summa
#1
Hello all,

It's my first post here. I'm a student at university currently taking up an elective on medieval philosophy, and I have to say I am just loving it; really makes you appreciate the mind of the Church. Can anyone provide some inputs on this question, which I'm answering for a bonus paper: How do the points made my St. Thomas Aquinas in Q.44 of the Summa Theologiae (On the procession of creatures from God) help us to better understand the Proslogion of St. Anselm? Thanks in advance for your help!
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#2
Well, you should do the homework yourself.  If your brain hurts, that means you're learning. :)

How about you post your thoughts and we critique them?  That too, will be painful, but it will help you form your thinking better if you are forced to have the ideas.

But I will offer a hint that goes to my opinion on the matter:  St. Thomas rejected St. Anselm's arguments.  Hegel liked them.  But Hegel's contribution to my answer might not have anything to do with his opinion on St. Anselm's points....

From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01546a.htm

Quote:Anselm's chief achievement in philosophy was the ontological argument for the existence of God put forth in his "Proslogium". Starting from the notion that God is "that than which nothing greater can be thought", he argues that what exists in reality is greater than that which is only in the mind; wherefore, since "God  is that than which nothing greater can be thought", He exists in reality. The validity of the argument was disputed at the outset by a monk named Gaunilo, who wrote a criticism on it to which Anselm replied. Eadmer  tells a curious story about St. Anselm's  anxiety while he was trying to work out this argument. He could think of nothing else for days together. And when at last he saw it clearly, he was filled with joy, and made haste to commit it to writing. The waxen tablets were given in charge to one of the monks but when they were wanted they were missing. Anselm  managed to recall the argument, it was written on fresh tablets and given into safer keeping. But when it was wanted it was found that the wax was broken to Pieces. Anselm  with some difficulty put the fragments together and had the whole copied on parchment for greater security. The story sounds like an allegory of the fate which awaited this famous argument, which was lost and found again, pulled to pieces and restored in the course of controversy. Rejected by St. Thomas and his followers, it was revived in another form  by Descartes. After being assailed by Kant, it was defended by Hegel, for whom it had a peculiar fascination — he recurs to it in many parts of his writings. In one place he says that it is generally used by later philosophers, "yet always along with the other proofs, although it alone is the true  one" (German Works, XII, 547). Assailants of this argument should remember  that all minds are not cast in one mould, and it is easy to understand how some can feel the force of arguments that are not felt by others. But if this proof were indeed, as some consider it, an absurd fallacy, how could it appeal  to such minds as those of Anselm, Descartes, and Hegel? It may be well to add that the argument was not rejected by all the great Schoolmen. It was accepted by Alexander of Hales (Summa, Pt. I, Q. iii, memb. 1, 2), and supported by Scotus. (In I, Dist. ii, Q. ii.) In modern times it is accepted by Möhler, who quotes Hegel's  defence with approval.
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