Augustine The Reader / Edition 1

Augustine The Reader / Edition 1

by Brian Stock
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674052773

ISBN-13: 9780674052772

Pub. Date: 01/12/1998

Publisher: Harvard University Press

Augustine of Hippo, a central figure in the history of Western thought, is also the author of a theory of reading that has had a profound influence on Western letters from the ages of Petrarch, Montaigne, Luther, and Rousseau to those of Freud and our own time. Brian Stock provides the first full account of this theory within the evolution of Augustine's early

Overview

Augustine of Hippo, a central figure in the history of Western thought, is also the author of a theory of reading that has had a profound influence on Western letters from the ages of Petrarch, Montaigne, Luther, and Rousseau to those of Freud and our own time. Brian Stock provides the first full account of this theory within the evolution of Augustine's early dialogues, his Confessions, and his systematic treatises.

Augustine was convinced that words and images play a mediating role in our perceptions of reality. In the union of philosophy, psychology, and literary insights that forms the basis of his theory of reading, the reader emerges as the dominant model of the reflective self. Meditative reading, indeed the meditative act that constitutes reading itself, becomes the portal to inner being. At the same time, Augustine argues that the self-knowledge reading brings is, of necessity, limited, since it is faith rather than interpretive reason that can translate reading into forms of understanding.

In making his theory of reading a central concern, Augustine rethinks ancient doctrines about images, memory, emotion, and cognition. In judging what readers gain and do not gain from the sensory and mental understanding of texts, he takes up questions that have reappeared in contemporary thinking. He prefigures, and in a way he teaches us to recognize, our own preoccupations with the phenomenology of reading, the hermeneutics of tradition, and the ethics of interpretation.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674052772
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
01/12/1998
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
476
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.06(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction

I CONFESSIONS 1-9

Learning to Read

Words

Reading and Writing

Self-Improvement

Intellectual Horizons

Manichaeism

Ambrose

Neoplatonism

Reading and Conversion

Alypius

Simplicianus

Ponticianus

Augustine

From Cassiciacum to Ostia

Cassiciacum

Ostia

II THE ETHICS OF INTERPRETATION

Beginnings

The Letters

The Dialogues

Speaking and Reading

On Dialectic

The Teacher

Defining the Reader

Toward Theory

Tradition and Beliefs

The "Uninstructed"

Christian Doctrine

Memory, Self-Reform, and Time

Remembering

Conduct

Time

The Self

A Language of Thought

The Reader and the Cogito

The Road toward Wisdom

Abbreviations

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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