Anselmis considered to be the “father” of scholastic theology. Anselmis best-known for his “ontological” argument, argument forexistence of God that has hypnotized, provoked as well as distractedgenerations of both critics and supporters in equal measures eversince. Great minds in Western intellectual history have dedicatedtheir attention towards Anselm’s argument by either defending it orrefuting it. Some of them are Spinoza, Descartes, Kant and Leibniz.
Literally,the word “ontology” means “the study of Being”. Anselmargument is based on certain understanding of God’s being which isGod’s being is very necessary. According to Anselm something whichnothing greater can be thought to exist in understanding. Evenatheists who deny God’s existence have an idea of God in his mindyet he denies him. Anselm argues that it is greater when one existsin reality than existing in understanding. When an individualsupposes that something that nothing greater can be thought to existonly in understanding it is possible to conceive something greater,for instance, an entity identical but exists in reality. He alsoargues that it is not realistic to consider something greater thanwhat is thought. Consequently, the something that nothing greater canbe thought needs to exist in reality and understanding as well.According to him, individuals call God “something than whichnothing greater can be considered. God exists in understanding andreality (Perry, 2012).
Accordingto Anselm, God’s existence is implied through defining God, and Godis the only true Being. Even though Anselm argument appears to beingenious he has provoked criticisms that attempt to identify andrepudiate parts of the argument that tricks us into logically buyingthe conclusion.
Inthe modern era Charles Hartshorne defended Anselm against Kant byemphasizing the notion of God’s existence as the fundamental aspectin Anselm argument and that is not dealt by Kant’s refutation(Woods, 2011).
Accordingto Scotus, haecceitasisthe aspect that is ultiamately responsible for individual exclusivityof things. It is the specific type that makes a difference from otherbeings. The specific essence the “thisness” of entity which canbe considered by man with close attention. According to Scotus whodirectly opposes Aquinas knowledge of specifics rather than theuniversals is the biggest type of knowledge. The notion of haecceitasis related closely with Scotus idea of Primacy of Will. ThomasAquinas maintained that intellect is more superior to will, that willacts as the first directed by intellect (reason, mind) to whatintellect considers “good.” However, intellect can be mistakenwith “good”, therefore directing will towards a false orinadequate goal. On the other hand, Scotus saw the will rather thanintellect to be the key faculty in God and man. According to what hewrote: “the entire cause of will’s willing is simply and purelythe will.” The main source of God’s laws and action, for Scotus,is Divine Will. And limit God’s omnipotent willing is He cannotwill contraries simultaneously.
Ockhamis a member of Franciscan order. He was involved in a controversythat erupted between Pope John XII and “spiritual” Franciscanswho indorsed the ideal poverty.Ockham talks about the absolute powerof God through denial of innate, consistent rational order thatunderlies things and knowable by human mind links with his key ideas.Just like Scotus, Ockhma argued that it is not a must for God to actaccording to rational rules (Gilje & Skirbekk, 2013).
Gilje,N., & Skirbekk, G. (2013). Ahistory of western thought: From ancient Greece to the twentiethcentury.London: Routledge.
Perry,M. (2012).Westerncivilization, a brief history.Belmont: Cengage Learning.
Woods,E. (2011). Citizensto Lords: A social history of Western political thought fromantiquity to the late Middle Ages.London: Ellen Meiksins.