Perception in Augustine's De Trinitate 11: A Non-Trinitarian Analysis

Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy 8:41-78 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In this paper, I explore Augustine’s account of sense cognition in book 11 of De Trinitate. His discussion in this context focuses on two types of sensory state—what he calls “outer vision” and “inner vision,” respectively. His analysis of both types of state is designed to show that cognitive acts involving external and internal sense faculties are susceptible of a kind of trinitarian analysis. A common way to read De Trin. 11, is to interpret Augustine’s account of “outer” vision as an analysis of sense perception and his account “inner” vision as an analysis of occurrent sensory memory and imagination. I argue against such a reading of De Trin. 11, however. Insofar as we take perception to be a phenomenally conscious mode of sensory awareness, outer vision cannot, I claim, be the equivalent of ordinary sense perception. For, on Augustine’s view, the deliverances of outer vision only reach the threshold of consciousness, when outer vision occurs in conjunction with inner vision. Hence, on my analysis, sense perception turns out to be a complex, hybrid state—one that involves both outer and inner vision. If I am right, acts of sense perception turn out not to be directly susceptible to trinitarian analysis. Even so, the account is interesting and nuanced for all that.



External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Kant on Inner Sensations and the Parity between Inner and Outer Sense.Yibin Liang - 2020 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 7:307-338.
Trinitarian Perception.Mark Eli Kalderon - 2017 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 91 (1):21-41.
Seeing empty space.Louise Richardson - 2009 - European Journal of Philosophy 18 (2):227-243.
The Priority of Inner Sense.Hoke Robinson - 1988 - Kant Studien 79 (1-4):165-182.
Analysis in Berkeley's Theory of Vision.Daniel E. Flage - 2011 - In Timo Airaksinen & Bertil Belfrage (eds.), Berkeley's lasting legacy: 300 years later. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press.
The Inner and the Outer.William Child - 2017 - In Hans-Johann Glock & John Hyman (eds.), A Companion to Wittgenstein. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 465–477.
Mind and the Inner-Outer Dichotomy.Richard James Baluck - 1998 - Dissertation, Loyola University of Chicago


Added to PP

662 (#27,108)

6 months
147 (#26,412)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Susan Brower-Toland
Saint Louis University

References found in this work

The nature of mind.David M. Armstrong - 1970 - In Clive Vernon Borst (ed.), The Mind/Brain Identity Theory. New York,: Macmillan.
Consciousness and self-consciousness.Uriah Kriegel - 2004 - The Monist 87 (2):182-205.
Consciousness and Self-Consciousness.Uriah Kriegel - 2004 - The Monist 87 (2):182-205.
Trinitarian Perception.Mark Eli Kalderon - 2017 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 91 (1):21-41.

View all 10 references / Add more references