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Anselm's "Proslogion": an evening seminar

Join Zephyr for this two-part reading and discussion of Anselm's famous short treatise, the "Proslogion", led by Zephyr's Director of Academic Programs, Landon Hobbs.

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Anselm's "Proslogion": an evening seminar
Anselm's "Proslogion": an evening seminar

Time & Location

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Apr 05, 2024, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Palo Alto, 2345 Dartmouth St, Palo Alto, CA 94306, USA

About the Event

In his seminal treatise, the Proslogion, Anselm of Canterbury famously attempted to demonstrate both the existence and attributes of God wholly a priori—that is, independently of experience, purely through meditation on the concept of God, considered as that than which nothing greater can be conceived. All Stanford students are invited to join Zephyr for this reading and discussion of Anselm’s classic short treatise.

Our reading will take place over the course of two evenings.

On the first, Friday, 5 April 6:00–8:00pm, we will discuss Anselm’s famous ontological argument, which purports to demonstrate that God, considered as that than which nothing greater can be conceived, necessarily exists. This argument was already controversial in Anselm’s own day, drawing criticism from an otherwise unknown monk named Gaunilo. We will discuss the first four chapters of the Proslogion, together with Gaunilo’s objection and Anselm’s reply to Gaunilo.

On the second evening, Friday, 19 April 6:00–8:00pm, we will discuss Anselm’s derivation and discussion of the various attributes of God in the remainder of the Proslogion. Though readers are sometimes tempted to focus exclusively on the first part of the Proslogion and the ontological argument, this second part is equally essential to Anselm’s project: only once he has demonstrated that God, considered as that than which nothing greater can be conceived, must also have the various properties we associate with divinity will his vindication of theism be complete.

The text of the Proslogion can be found here. Participants are encouraged to read the text carefully beforehand.

Dinner will be provided to all participants. Please RSVP in advance so that Zephyr will plan accordingly. If, after registering, something comes up and you are no longer able to attend, please let us know so that we can adjust the headcount.

Questions about this event can be directed to Landon Hobbs (lhobbs@zephyr.org).

About the speaker

Landon Hobbs is Research Fellow and Director of Academic Programming at the Zephyr Institute. His research area is Ancient Greek philosophy, with a focus on Aristotle’s metaphysics, especially Aristotle’s understanding of causality and his use of causal principles. Landon came to Zephyr in 2023 after completing his PhD in Philosophy at Stanford.

Eligibility

All Stanford students are eligible to participate in this event.

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