Augustines Confessions: Philosophy in Autobiography

Hardcover | August 3, 2014

EditorWilliam E. Mann

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Augustine's Confessions is a masterpiece of world literature. Written by Augustine in his forties, at the height of his philosophical and rhetorical skills, the Confessions is at once autobiographical, philosophical, theological, and psychological. The aim of the eight essays commissioned forthe present volume is to provide an examination and discussion of some of the philosophical issues raised by Augustine. What constitutes the happy or blessed life and what is required to achieve it? The essays question the role that philosophical perplexity plays in the search for truth, and the mental discipline that is required for conducting the search; in addition to asking how Augustine depicts the acquisition of truth as a vision of God. Furthermore, they discuss the problems that arisein the attempt to understand minds, both our own and others, and ask about the interplay between what reason tells us is right and what we will to do. What are the impediments to an individual's moral progress, and how far are these impediments created by the temptations to indulge in such fictionsas dramas and dreams? What is the nature of eternity, and how does eternity differ from time? How should scripture be interpreted, especially the account of creation of the material world in Genesis?Readers with a basic knowledge of Augustine may perceive him to be simply a powerful definer and defender of religious orthodoxy, a figure who ranks behind only Jesus and Paul in the development of a distinctively Christian world-view. For such readers the intellectual honesty and psychologicalcandour of the Confessions should come as a pleasant surprise.

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Augustine's Confessions is a masterpiece of world literature. Written by Augustine in his forties, at the height of his philosophical and rhetorical skills, the Confessions is at once autobiographical, philosophical, theological, and psychological. The aim of the eight essays commissioned forthe present volume is to provide an examinat...

William E. Mann received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Minnesota. Having previously taught at St. Olaf College and Illinois State University, he is now the Marsh Professor of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy Emeritus at the University of Vermont. He specializes in Medieval Philosophy and the Philosophy of Religion, and ...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.01 inPublished:August 3, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199577552

ISBN - 13:9780199577552

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Table of Contents

ContributorsAbbreviationsWilliam E. Mann: Introduction1. Peter King: Augustine's Anti-Platonic Ascents2. Tomas Ekenberg: Practical Rationality and the Wills of Confessions VIII3. Nicholas Wolterstorff: Happiness in Augustine's Confessions4. Stephen Menn: The Desire for God and the Aporetic Method in Augustine's Confessions5. William E. Mann: The Life of the Mind in Dramas and Dreams6. Paul Helm: Thinking Eternally7. Blake D. Dutton: The Privacy of the Mind and the Fully Approvable Reading of Scripture: Augustine on Genesis 1:18. Christian Tornau: Intelligible Matter and the Genesis of Intellect: The Metamorphosis of a Plotinian Theme in Confessions XII-XIIIIndex