Fundamental aspiration to the good: Anselm's way

Abstract

The article investigates internal motives and ways of realization of Anselm of Canterbury’s program fides quaerens intellectum. The author, basing on contemporary lite-rature, strives to reveal the structure of Anselm’s argumentation and to consider the main lines of its up-to-date interpretations. Is the principle sola ratione a choice in favor of a pure rationality? Or, on the contrary, Anselm's rational arguments are internally connected with the orientation of faith? Does Anselm’s thought consider religious experience as the basic condition of thinking? Or it rather goes about universal experience of thinking as the basis of proof of the truths of faith (truths of Revelation)? The author shows the ambiguity of assessments of Anselm’s intellectual heritage. In the article Anselm's argumentation is treated in its unity and dynamics, as a movement of a sole argument (already in "Monologion"). The Benedictine thinker opts for «the most convenient way» of thought – the way of striving for the good, inherent in any person. An advancement on this way allows to reveal the nature of the Highest Good and reveal its main attributes. There is not a purely theoreti-cal research, but rather meditation, intellectual exercise which should lead to certain practical consequences. The analysis of this base aspiration opens to us an idea of human destination: the person is called for conscious life which opens the way to true happiness. Faith, rationality and mystical experience are for Anselm various aspects of a single effort which is expressed in the well-known formula fides quaerens intellectum.

 

 

Author Biography

Andrii Baumeister, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv
PhD in philosophy, Associate professor of the Philosophy Depart-ment

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Published
2011-12-16
How to Cite
Baumeister, A. (2011). Fundamental aspiration to the good: Anselm’s way. Sententiae, 25(2), 05-26. https://doi.org/10.22240/sent25.02.005
Section
ARTICLES