The primary aim is the reconstruction of the main argument of the second chapter of Anselm’s Proslogion. To be proved is the statement that God, or something than which nothing greater can be thought, exists in reality. I proceed by a piecemeal analysis of every sentence of the Latin original and its subsequent translation into a formal second-order language with choice operator. Reconstructing Anselm’s reasoning demands interpretative input and additions. For example, the formula ‘quod maius est’ has to be suitably interpreted and expanded. Furthermore, I try to explicate Anselm’s maius predicate in terms of a perfection predicate and to develop a general proof for Anselm’s theorem, i.e. the statement that something/that than which something greater cannot be thought has all greater-making attributes.
The main purpose of this paper is to reassess the debate between Boehner and Karger about Ockham’s views on the infallibility of intuitive cognition, and to present a new account of infallible intuitive cognition. After a detailed overview of Ockham’s theory of intuitive and abstractive cognition, the Boehner/Karger debate is examined. At the center of this debate are two conflicting interpretations of a certain passage in Ockham’s writings. It is shown that neither of these interpretations is ultimately successful. Next, a third interpretation is introduced and shown to be superior to the previous two. This new interpretation leads to a refutation of one of Karger’s main arguments against Boehner’s theory of the infallibility of intuitive cognition. Finally, a distinction between weak and strong infallibility is introduced (based on whether the intuitive cognition causes a false judgment, or merely co-occurs with it), and it is argued that intuitive cognition is always weakly infallible, and often (but not always) also strongly infallible.
Traditional logical reconstruction of arguments aims at assessing the validity of ordinary language arguments. It involves several tasks: extracting argumentations from texts, breaking up complex argumentations into individual arguments, framing arguments in standard form, as well as formalizing arguments and showing their validity with the help of a logical formalism. These tasks are guided by a multitude of partly antagonistic goals, they interact in various feedback loops, and they are intertwined with the development of theories of valid inference and adequate formalization. This paper explores how the method of reflective equilibrium can be used for modelling the complexity of such reconstructions and for justifying the various steps involved. The proposed approach is illustrated and tested in a detailed reconstruction of the beginning of Anselm’s De casu diaboli.
In this paper, Anselm’s argument for the uniqueness of God or, more precisely, something through which everything that exists has its being (Monologion 3) is reconstructed. A first reading of the argument leads to a preliminary reconstruens with one major weakness, namely the incompleteness of a central case distinction. In the successful attempt to construct a more tenable reconstruens some additional premises which are deeply rooted in an Anselmian metaphysics are identified. Anselm’s argument seems to depend on premises such as that if two things have the same nature, then there is one common thing from which they have this nature and in virtue of which they exist. Furthermore it appears that infinite regresses are excluded by the premise that if everything that exists is through something, then there is something through which it is “most truly”.