Medieval Background to Descartes

Medieval Background to Descartes - Augustine and Anselm...

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Augustine and Anselm Handout Augustine’s refutation of skepticism Knowledge of self, awareness of the “immediate data” of consciousness. Distinguishing consciousness as a mental “act” intending (directed at) an object—Thinking of x-- from consciousness of the “act” of being conscious of the object—“self-consciousness” and “reflection”—awareness of an object as opposed to awareness of consciousness of an object . Awareness (knowledge) of conscious acts, awareness of objects (sensations), awareness of self—all known with certainty. Mathematical truths. Augustine’s Cogito . I doubt therefore I am, I am conscious, therefore I am. I live, therefore I exist—Can’t doubt any of this. The emphasis on “will”—as if will (hence free will) and not intellect is the key characteristic of a human being. The three kinds of “being” and the influence of Plotinus—adapting Plotinus to Christianity—the Christian God and the Plotinian One—the influence of early Greek ideas about “change”, “becoming” and “being”
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