How can one search for God?: The paradox of inquiry in Augustine's confessions

Metaphilosophy 39 (1):20–38 (2008)
Abstract
The Confessions recounts Augustine 's successful search for God. But Augustine worries that one cannot search for God if one does not already know God. That version of the paradox of inquiry dominates and structures Confessions 1–10. I draw connections between the dramatic opening lines of book 1 and the climactic discussion in book 10.26–38 and argue that the latter discussion contains Augustine 's resolution of the paradox of inquiry as it applies to the special case of searching for God. I claim that he develops a model, relying on the universal human experience of joy and truth, that identifies a starting point that is common to all human beings, is sufficient for guiding a successful search for God, and avoids commitment to recollection of experiences prior to birth. The model is crucial to Augustine 's rejection of traditional Platonist views about recollection
Keywords Confessions  recollection  happiness  paradox of inquiry  Meno's paradox  joy  Augustine  truth
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9973.2008.00529.x
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References found in this work BETA
Inquiry in the Meno.Gail Fine - 1992 - In R. Kraut (ed.), Cambridge Companion to Plato. Cambridge University Press.
Augustine on the Mind's Search for Itself.Gareth B. Matthews - 2003 - Faith and Philosophy 20 (4):415-429.
The Divine Nature.Scott MacDonald - 2001 - In Eleonore Stump & Norman Kretzmann (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Augustine. Cambridge University Press. pp. 71--90.
Augustine, Confessions (Ca. 400).Scott MacDonald - 2003 - In Jorge J. E. Gracia, Gregory M. Reichberg & Bernard N. Schumacher (eds.), The Classics of Western Philosophy: A Reader's Guide. Blackwell. pp. 96.

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