Neoplatonic Metaphysics and Epistemology of Anselm of Canterbury

Author: Rogers, Katherin
Anselm is well-known for his "ontological" argument, for his discussion of the necessity of the Incarnation. This volume argues that Anselm is a Christian neoplatonist of the Augustinian variety, and thus that he is the inheritor of a powerful and systematic metaphysics and epistemology. The view that our world is an image of the divine mind and its ideas, a fragmented and temporal copy of the perfect, eternal unity which is God, leads Anselm to a strong exemplarism on the doctrine of the universals, and ultimately to a sane and sober theistic idealism. The discussion of Anselm's underlying metaphysics and epistemology concludes with a neoplatonic (and new) interpretation and defense of his most famous contribution, the Proslogion proof for the existence of God.


"This is a striking new book by a philosopher who understands both Anselm and the concerns of today's world of thought, and who takes the reader effortlessly into the problems which held Anselm's own interest for a lifetime. . . . She looks at the problem of universals, to which Anselm made several important contributions and helped to lay the groundwork for what was to prove an ongoing mediaeval debate for several centuries. . . . there is a lively drawing of the Anselmian position. Anselm's most famous argument is probably the ontological 'proof' of the existence of God (which he intended also to establish all the things Christians believe about God). Kate Rogers takes a fresh look at that. This is a book with many strengths and something new to say. Anselm scholars, students of mediaeval thought and the curious reader who wants to make a beginning in acquainting him or herself with the concerns of the thousand years between the end of the ancient world and the beginning of the modern, will do well to make it a high priority to read what Kate Rogers has to say." - G. R. Evans