Memory in Augustine's Theological Anthropology by Paige E. Hochschild

By Paige E. Hochschild

Reminiscence is the least studied size of Augustine's mental trinity of memory-intellect-will. This e-book explores the subject of 'memory' in Augustine's works, tracing its philosophical and theological importance. the 1st half explores the philosophical historical past of reminiscence in Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus. the second one half indicates how Augustine inherits this subject matter and treats it in his early writings. The 3rd and ultimate half seeks to teach how Augustine's theological realizing of Christ attracts on and resolves tensions within the subject matter of memory.The position of reminiscence within the theological anthropology of Augustine has its roots within the Platonic epistemological culture. Augustine actively engages with this custom in his early writings in a way that's either philosophically subtle and doctrinally in keeping with his later, extra brazenly theological writings. From the Cassiacum dialogues via De musica, Augustine issues to the critical significance of reminiscence: he examines the facility of the soul as whatever that mediates experience notion and knowing, whereas explicitly deferring a extra profound remedy of it until eventually Confessions and De trinitate. In those texts, reminiscence is the root for the positioning of the Imago Dei within the brain. It turns into the root for the non secular adventure of the embodied creature, and a resource of the profound anxiousness that effects from the sensed competition of human time and divine time (aeterna ratio). This stress is contained and resolved, to a constrained volume, in Augustine's Christology, within the skill of a paradoxical incarnation to unify the temporal and the everlasting (in Confessions eleven and 12), and the lifetime of religion (scientia) with the promised contemplation of the divine (sapientia, in De trinitate 12-14).

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Particular places are not distinguished in contemporary theoretical physics, or in the physics of Descartes. According to him, some parts of the heavens are unlike others, and he seeks to explain some astronomical facts by postulating great masses of fluid matter whirling around the sun. But this is mere large-scale geography, so to speak; none of Descartes's basic laws pick out any particular places, and none is said to hold sway only in certain places. (4) Aristotle's explanations are qualitative rather than quantitative: his physics does not lend itself to development through mathematics.

His reason comes from this: ‘The extension of the wax . . increases if the wax melts, increases again if it boils, . . etc. The wax . . is capable of being extended in many more different ways than I will ever encompass in my imagination’ (CSM 2:21). Before this he says the same thing about flexibility. He is rejecting concept-empiricism—the view that everything in the understanding was first in the senses. , cannot be intellectual possessions derived from our senses, he holds. , far outruns anything that the senses could give us, because it includes the possibility of an infinity of shapes and sizes.

What is the end that is sought in nature? It is the development from a state of potentiality to one of actuality, the embodiment of form in matter. With Aristotle . . the teleological view of nature prevails over the mechanical. . The teleology is not, however, all-pervasive and allconquering, since matter sometimes obstructs the action of teleology (as, for instance, in the production of monsters, which must be ascribed to defective matter). Thus the working of teleology in any particular instance may suffer the occurrence of an event which does not serve the end in question.

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