The aporetic Augustine

Abstract
Augustine was undeniably a dogmatic thinker, but he also had an “aporetic side” which makes him more relevant to Christian philosophers today than isgenerally recognized. Augustine’s first experience of reading philosophy came from Cicero’s Hortensius, from which Augustine gained an appreciation for philosophical scepticism which he never lost. Thus, in all of his works and in all periods of his life, Augustine’s characteristic way of doing philosophy is aporetic, rather than either systematic or speculative. Paradoxically, Augustine’s faith in the truth of Holy Scripture and Church Doctrine gave him a freedom to explore theological and philosophical conundra and, if he could not resolve them, admit frankly that he could not do so. Like Socrates, Augustine was wise partly because he admitted to being puzzled about things that others took for granted. Some of the perplexities which occupied him are: (a) the nature of time; (b) whether it is possible to show someone (without using words) what walking is if one is already walking; (c) whether one is responsible for what one does in one’s dreams; (d) whether one can think about sadness or pleasure by having an image of it in one’s mind, but without experiencing any sadness or pleasure in the thought, and (e) (perhaps most famously, in the Confessions) how one can want something that he does not believe to be good
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Conference Proceedings  History of Philosophy  Philosophy and Religion
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0065-7638  
DOI 10.5840/acpaproc20047816
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,749
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Self-Referential (or Performative) Inconsistency.John Finnis - 2004 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 78:13-22.
Augustine; a Collection of Critical Essays.R. A. Markus - 1972 - Garden City, N.Y., Anchor Books.
Augustine on Evil.G. R. Evans - 1982 - Cambridge University Press.
De Trinitate.Mary T. Clark - 2005 - In Eleonore Stump & Norman Kretzmann (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Augustine. Cambridge University Press. pp. 91--102.
The Augustinian Constitution of Heidegger's Being and Time.Craig J. N. de Paulo - 2003 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 77 (4):549-568.
Augustinian Skepticism in Augustine's Confessions.George Heffernan - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 14:73-86.
Augustine's Transformation of the Free Will Defence.Rowan A. Greer - 1996 - Faith and Philosophy 13 (4):471-486.
Augustine of Hippo: A Life.Henry Chadwick - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
Augustine's Griefs.Paul Helm - 2003 - Faith and Philosophy 20 (4):448-459.
Augustine's Use of Epicureanism.Daniel J. Kirchner - 2010 - International Philosophical Quarterly 50 (2):183-200.
Foreknowledge and Human Freedom in Augustine.Vance G. Morgan - 1994 - Journal of Philosophical Research 19:223-242.
Added to PP index
2011-01-21

Total downloads
24 ( #217,855 of 2,197,348 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #298,877 of 2,197,348 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature