Augustine's Invention of the Inner Self: The Legacy of a Christian Platonist

Augustine's Invention of the Inner Self: The Legacy of a Christian Platonist

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by Phillip Cary
     
 

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ISBN-10: 019515861X

ISBN-13: 9780195158618

Pub. Date: 04/28/2003

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

In this book, Phillip Cary argues that Augustine invented the concept of the self as a private inner space-a space into which one can enter and in which one can find God. Although it has often been suggested that Augustine in some way inaugurated the Western tradition of inwardness, this is the first study to pinpoint what was new about Augustine's philosophy of

Overview

In this book, Phillip Cary argues that Augustine invented the concept of the self as a private inner space-a space into which one can enter and in which one can find God. Although it has often been suggested that Augustine in some way inaugurated the Western tradition of inwardness, this is the first study to pinpoint what was new about Augustine's philosophy of inwardness and situate it within a narrative of his intellectual development and his relationship to the Platonist tradition.
Augustine invents the inner self, Cary argues, in order to solve a particular conceptual problem. Augustine is attracted to the Neoplatonist inward turn, which located God within the soul, yet remains loyal to the orthodox Catholic teaching that the soul is not divine. He combines the two emphases by urging us to turn "in then up"—to enter the inner world of the self before gazing at the divine Light above the human mind.
Cary situates Augustine's idea of the self historically in both the Platonist and the Christian traditions. The concept of private inner self, he shows, is a development within the history of the Platonist concept of intelligibility or intellectual vision, which establishes a kind of kinship between the human intellect and the divine things it sees. Though not the only Platonist in the Christian tradition, Augustine stands out for his devotion to this concept of intelligibility and his willingness to apply it even to God. This leads him to downplay the doctrine that God is incomprehensible, as he is convinced that it is natural for the mind's eye, when cleansed of sin, to see and understand God.
In describing Augustine's invention of the inner self, Cary's fascinating book sheds new light on Augustine's life and thought, and shows how Augustine's position developed into the more orthodox Augustine we know from his later writings.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195158618
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
04/28/2003
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
232
Sales rank:
1,223,893
Product dimensions:
1.00(w) x 1.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Note on Quotations and Citations xvii
Introduction 3(6)
PART I. PLATONISM: A TRADITION OF DIVINITY WITHIN
The Kinship of Soul and Platonic Form
9(11)
Seeing the Good in the Soul
9(2)
The Other World
11(2)
Enlarging the Soul
13(2)
Problems of Intelligibility
15(2)
Intellectual Vision
17(3)
Identity From Aristotle to Plotinus
20(11)
Aristotle: Knowledge as Identity with God
20(1)
Alexander's Interpretation of Aristotle
21(3)
Identity in Plotinus's Hierarchy
24(2)
Unity and Division
26(2)
Turning into the Inside
28(3)
Augustine Reads Plotinus
31(14)
Augustine's Early Period
31(2)
A Central Issue in Augustine Scholarship
33(2)
Augustine on "the Books of the Platonists"
35(1)
Some Plotinian Readings
36(2)
In Then Up
38(2)
Inner Vision and Faith
40(5)
Problems of Christian Platonism
45(18)
Life-giving Flesh
45(2)
"Inner Man" Language
47(2)
Christ in the Heart
49(2)
Wisdom by Another Name
51(2)
Ideas in the Mind of God
53(2)
The Intelligibility of God
55(2)
The Incomprehensibility of God
57(1)
Consequences of Nicaea
58(5)
PART II. AUGUSTINE: INVENTING THE INNER SELF
Inward Turn and Intellectual Vision
63(14)
A Turning of Attention
63(3)
A Philosophical Project
66(1)
Problems of Nature and Grace
67(4)
The Experience of Insight
71(2)
Education for Vision
73(4)
Explorations of Divine Reason
77(18)
Who Is Reason?
77(3)
Ciceronian Point of Departure
80(2)
Cicero's Turn to the Soul
82(2)
The Superiority of Soul in Cicero
84(1)
Divinity in the Soul before Plotinus
85(4)
A Program of Education
89(2)
The Self-examination of Reason
91(4)
An Abandoned Proof
95(10)
An Astonishing Argument
95(3)
The Bizarre Identification
98(2)
Immutable Things in the Mind
100(2)
A Diagnosis
102(3)
Change of Mind
105(10)
Inseparably in the Soul
105(2)
Voluntary Separation?
107(2)
Immutable Good Will
109(2)
Soul as Creature
111(4)
Inner Privacy and Fallen Embodiment
115(10)
Soul as Mutable
115(2)
The Varieties of Dualism
117(1)
Resurrection Avoided Then Accepted
118(2)
Falling into Division
120(1)
Original and Final Unity
121(1)
Locke's Dark Room
122(3)
The Origin of Inner Space
125(15)
Memory as Inner World
125(2)
Places in Memory
127(1)
The Art of Finding
128(2)
The Location of the Soul
130(2)
Powers of the Soul
132(2)
The Size of the Soul
134(2)
The Lesson of Geometry
136(1)
What Is Found in Memory
137(3)
Conclusion: The Inner, the Outer, and the Other 140(7)
Appendix 1: Chronology of Augustine's Writings 147(2)
Appendix 2: Two Key Texts of Augustine's Ontology 149(2)
Notes 151(44)
Bibliography 195(12)
Index 207

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Augustine's Invention of the Inner Self: The Legacy of a Christian Platonist 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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