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Anselm (Great Medieval Thinkers) Paperback – November 17, 2008

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Product Details

  • Series: Great Medieval Thinkers
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (November 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195309391
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195309393
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #886,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A fresh study of the astonishing philosophical and theological achievement of Anselm of Canterbury is long overdue. But it has been worth the wait. Visser and Williams bring Anselm's texts and ideas vividly to life. They introduce us to the breadth of his thought - from his philosophy of mind, language, and modality to his reflections on Trinity and Incarnation - with a sensitivity to the texts and a depth of analysis that is rare in books accessible to a general readership." --Scott McDonald, Professor of Philosophy and Norma K. Regan Professor in Christian Studies, Cornell University

About the Author

Sandra Visser is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Valparaiso University. Thomas Williams is Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies Studies at the University of South Florida.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ray TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
This new work by Visser and Williams on the famous medieval thinker Anselm of Bec is a well written and heavily detailed investigation of Anselm's primary philosophical positions. Part of Oxford's "Great Medieval Thinkers," the book is not designed to be a biography and life history of Anselm, but is rather more focused on the thinking, logic, and philosophy of Anselm as he developed his arguments for the great issues of his time. One of the real strengths of this book is that it does not just tell us what Anselm thought about a particular thing, but helps us step through the logical development and argumentation for such positions, often using math logic expressions to help operationalize the concepts. This is not a book for casual reading, that is, if you are attempting to put effort into conceptualizing the content: even for those with a background in these subjects will need time to wrestle with the content and to absorb the ideas being presented. But the book is surprisingly well written (as are most in this Oxford set), and the written clarity and textual lucidity greatly assist in working through the book. It is certainly an excellent work on which to build a primary understand of what Anselm thought about all these major issues.

The book is available in both hardback and softbound editions, and although I would normally opt for a paperback for cost reasons, I have found that for books in this Oxford set, there is real utility in having the hardback variants because of the amount of back-and-forth page turning that goes on, the need to gloss with marginal notes in pencil, and so on. And it is unfortunate that Oxford chose to release all these books is such a size-reduced package to save costs.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Before finding this book, I had dismissed Anselm's version of the Ontological argument right along with Gaunilo. The clear presentation in this book made me see Anselm in a new (and more positive) light. Excellent work!
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