David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
’m not really sure what they were after when they asked me to talk to you about Augustine and the Platonists. Maybe they wanted me to talk about some specific Platonists, and the elements of Augustine’s views that he adopts or adapts. And no doubt I should at least mention a couple of names. There’s Plato himself, of course (428-348 BC). The thing is, it’s pretty clear that Augustine had never read Plato directly, whether in Greek (which Augustine couldn’t actually handle very well) or in Latin translation. The best he could do was to read what other people said about what Scotus said. Then there were two followers of Plato whose work Augustine did read in Latin translation: Plotinus (204-270) and his student Porphyry (233-305). He probably read them in the translation of Marius Victorinus, who is discussed in Book 8 of the Confessions. There’s a lot of debate, though, about exactly what he read and exactly how it influenced him. I have a somewhat non-standard view about this. I call it the “Who cares what Augustine read?” view. My view is that even though Augustine read Plotinus and Porphyry rather than Plato, his version of Platonism is actually much closer to Plato himself than it is to Plotinus and Porphyry. So knowing the details of Plotinus and Porphyry doesn’t really matter much for understanding Augustine, because Augustine’s kind of Platonism doesn’t really depend on those details. In spirit, it’s much closer to the real Plato, because it adopts the overall outlook of Plato without a lot of the additions and complications of later Platonists. And that’s why I’m going to start with a story. I’m going to use this story to get across what I think is the essence of this Platonic outlook. Then I’ll show you how various Platonists put the insights that this story encapsulates to work in three different aspects of philosophy. After I’ve laid all that out, I’ll talk about how Augustine transforms this Platonic picture in the light of his Christian faith..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
George Lawless (1990). Augustine of Hippo and His Monastic Rule. Clarendon Press.
Paul Helm (2003). Augustine's Griefs. Faith and Philosophy 20 (4):448-459.
R. A. Markus (1972). Augustine; a Collection of Critical Essays. Garden City, N.Y.,Anchor Books.
G. R. Evans (1982). Augustine on Evil. Cambridge University Press.
Charles T. Mathewes (2001). Original Sin and the Hermeneutics of Charity: A Response to Gilbert Meilaender. Journal of Religious Ethics 29 (1):35 - 42.
Thomas Williams (2000). Recent Work on Saint Augustine. Philosophical Books 41 (3):145-152.
George E. Karamanolis (2006). Plato and Aristotle in Agreement?: Platonists on Aristotle From Antiochus to Porphyry. Oxford University Press.
Cynthia R. Nielsen (2009). St. Augustine on Text and Reality (and a Little Gadamerian Spice). Heythrop Journal 50 (1):98-108.
Rowan A. Greer (1996). Augustine's Transformation of the Free Will Defence. Faith and Philosophy 13 (4):471-486.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads57 ( #34,503 of 1,692,196 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #184,284 of 1,692,196 )
How can I increase my downloads?