Ratio Anselmi Revisited

Marcin Tkaczyk

Abstract

The proof of God’s existence, known as Ratio Anselmi, is being analyzed. Four first-order theories are constructed to mirror versions of Anselm’s reasoning. God’s existence is shown to be provable in all of them. A traditional objection to the employment of a concept of God is overruled. And yet, Anselm’s proof is eventually found to be incorrect. The error attributed to Anselm consists in an illegitimate use of the words “greater” and “conceivable”, and is identified as quaternio terminorum or petitio principii, depending on circumstances. It is claimed that there is no direct way to improve the argument.

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