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Sandra Visser and Thomas Williams

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195309386

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195309386.001.0001

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The Proslogion Argument for the Existence of God

The Proslogion Argument for the Existence of God

(p.72) (p.73) 5 The Proslogion Argument for the Existence of God

Sandra Visser

Thomas Williams

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the Proslogion, where Anselm supplied a proof in the “ontological argument”. This argument was almost immediately misunderstood by Gaunilo, whose incomprehension has been a baneful influence on subsequent interpretations as well. By reading Anselm's reply to Gaunilo as an extension and clarification of the original Proslogion argument, the discussion formulates an interpretation that shows how both Gaunilo's objection and many subsequent objections to Anselm's argument seriously misconstrue its character.

Keywords:   Gaunilo, God's existence, Proslogion, ontological argument

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