Anselmus’s Moral Philosophy and Moral Understanding

Anselmus’s Moral Philosophy and Moral Understanding

The question of whether Anselmus has developed a moral understanding in itself is a controversial question.

Those who argue that he did not produce a theory of morality claim that his work is religious rather than philosophical; therefore, they do not produce ideas that would form an independent moral theory. However, in Anselmus’s thoughts, there are many materials that can be examined on the basis of moral philosophy. Naturally, in order to understand what these materials really mean and how they should be examined, one should first look at his understanding of truth.

As in many other subjects, Anselmus’ views on the truth were influenced by Augustine. Like Augustine, Anselmus states that truth has no beginning and no end (De Veritate 1). Such a truth with no beginning or end is, of course, identical with God, the truth itself. The truth in all the propositions that can be established with regard to everything in the universe is most certainly known by God. Therefore, the truth in these propositions is eternal, and Anselmus makes the truth understandable on the basis of the rectitudo in the propositions. A realistic philosopher, such as Anselmus, is of course unthinkable to relate truth to truth only in propositions. Truth also exists in will, thought, action and things.

Since truth is not the object of any sense, it is described as abilir perceptible only by reason ”. There is only one truth governing the world in which we live, and it is God. In this respect, the truth of the propositions or the truth in the propositions is based on the truth of thought, the truth in thought is based on the truth in things, the truth in things is based on God, that is absolute truth. After this explanation, what Anselmus tries to explain in the proof of God becomes more comprehensible (Maurer, 1982: 55).

As De Veritate (12) states, truth (veritas), truth (rectitudo) justice are interchangeable concepts. The term justice here is of particular importance to Anselmus. Because justice is closely related to the truth of the will. If the will is in a proper (honest) orientation, an action that finds truth / truth has emerged. Freedom of will is therefore closely related to truth or honesty. This freedom in will, on the other hand, is the state of wanting righteousness or honesty only for itself.

According to Anselmus, will has three meanings. Will means, above all, the power or ability to ask. Second, the will can be understood as the tendency or influence of the power of will. The third meaning of will is the act of wanting. One of these actions is to make a decision or make a decision, which is itself a judicium. This is where information comes into play. Whether or not to choose anything requires an action that is appropriate to the functioning of the mind. In this respect, there is a parallel between selection and will and reason (Maurer, 1982: 56-57). Will is a power in this respect. However, it is not any force. Will is always a force used to choose what is considered morally correct. According to Anselmus, of course we may not always make moral choices properly. But this feature of our will always stands in place and calls us to be vigilant for our next action. Nevertheless, our will may always prefer sin.

Here, Anselmus points out a remarkable situation. Our will to make one or this choice and even to choose sin, should not be considered in connection with his freedom. For if a link could be established between sin and freedom, we would have been unable to speak of the freedom of God and the angels. However, according to Anselmus, God has greater freedom and greater freedom than anyone has. Therefore, in his famous work De Libertate Arbitrii (About Freedom of Choice), Anselmus describes freedom as ücü the power of will, of the righteousness itself to maintain the righteousness ”. Therefore, it is unthinkable that a truly free person makes a selfish act and makes a selfish choice because it is true (Maurer, 1982: 57).

Anselmus’ understanding of morality is largely divine. Anselmus thinks that a free will can be achieved by submitting to the human mind that God reigns. Since mind already accepts divine sovereignty from the very beginning, it is inevitable for freedom to emerge in accordance with divine authority. Anselmus was called the Bab Father of Scholasticism.. Even in the most intense debates, it was serious, reflecting the importance of reason and proper thinking. The greatest feature was the proof of God that he built with the understanding he took over from Augustine.

Prepared by:  Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source:  Ömer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Department of Sociology 1st Grade Giriş Introduction to Philosophy ”and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade Tarihi History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook