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Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780192897817
Number of Pages: 136
Published: 24/11/2022
Width: 11.1 cm
Height: 17.5 cm
Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109) was the outstanding philosopher-theologian of the Latin West between Augustine and the thirteenth century. As a public figure, especially as Archbishop of Canterbury, he corresponded with kings and nobles, popes and bishops, in letters that reveal a fascinating personality and flesh out the practical dimensions of his theoretical philosophy. He wrote at a time when a renewed interest in logic encouraged careful and rigorous argumentation, but before the recovery of Aristotle filled the philosophical discourse with difficult technical jargon, making for writing that is unrivalled for its lucidity and accessibility. He offers the first clear account of what we now call a libertarian view of free will, according to which free choices cannot be determined by the agent's internal states or by external influences. His famous 'ontological argument' for the existence of God continues to generate discussion, debate, and puzzlement. His understanding of God is rightly regarded as one of the definitive expressions of classical theism or perfect-being theology, which remains influential in philosophy of religion and analytic theology. His account of the Atonement is one that every theologian to this day still grapples with. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Thomas Williams (Isabelle A. and Henry D. Martin Professor of Medieval Philosophy, Isabelle A. and Henry D. Martin Professor of Medieval Philosophy, Georgetown University)

Thomas Williams is the Isabelle A. and Henry D. Martin Professor of Medieval Philosophy at Georgetown University. He has published widely on medieval philosophy and theology. He is co-author of Anselm (2008), editor of The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Ethics (2018) and The Cambridge Companion to Duns Scotus (2003), and translator of Augustine: Confessions (2019), John Duns Scotus: Selected Writings on Ethics (2017), Thomas Aquinas: The Treatise on Happiness and Treatise on Human Acts (2016), and Anselm: The Complete Treatises with Selected Letters and Prayers and the Meditation on Human Redemption (2022).

The appeal of an investigation performed by means of the confined domain of logica vetus is one of the most fascinating elements offered by Anselm's theological and philosophical works...The landscape of studies about Anselm of Aosta is now enriched by an easy introduction to Doctor Magnificus's life and works by Thomas Williams. The essay doesn't merely summarise Cantuariensis's main theses but provides the status quaestionis on the most recent interpretative approaches. * Matteo Parente, Department of Humanities, University of Salerno, Fisciano, Salerno, Italy, History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis *

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