Neoplatonism Through the Renaissance

The Scholastics

What are the roots of St. Anselm’s ontological argument?

First, St. Anselm’s (1033–1109) argument for God’s existence seems to depend on pure reason as means to truth, which goes back to the ancient Greeks. That it only depends on reason, without observation or experience, perhaps makes it closer to Plato, or the Neoplatonists, than to Aristotle. Second, the argument relies on the ancient assumption that being or having more being is “better” or more perfect than non-being or having less being.


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