The thesis of this essay is that the pursuit of a reality in general or appearance in general is barren. The
only reality there can be, it is held, is the reality of this
or that appearance. There is no reality in general because
there is no appearance in general. Any reality is real only
in its relation to a given appearance. Apart from that
appearance, it may and will be equally well regarded as the
appearance of another reality. Hence any attempt to establish
an absolute reality, that is, such a reality as is the reality
of all appearance and the appearance of no reality, ends in
The absolute reality, during the greater part of the
development of European philosophy, has been envisaged as God.
Even when this has not been so, still the arguments by which it
has been upheld have been borrowed from Christian theology.
Thus, for example,even when Hegelian absolutism has diverged
from Christianity, its basis has always been the Christian
arguments for the existence of God. And the same may be said
of Spinoza, who, although certainly not a Christian, is yet a
Scholastic. Thus any examination of the tenability of the
concept of an absolute reality must centre round the Christian
proofs of the existence of God. And since, as it will be
argued, the final form of these proofs is the Ontological
argument, it is through a detailed consideration of the thought
of Anselm - the first and greatest of the exponents of that
argument - that the thesis of this essay is to be made out.