augustine - Augustine(354-430ad Born near Carthage(Algeria...

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1 Augustine (354-430ad) Born near Carthage (Algeria) in N. Africa Christian mother (Monica) Pagan father Citizen of the Roman Empire Christianity the official religion of the  Empire since the edit of Constantine (313ad)
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2 Educated in Carthage masters rhetoric rejects Christianity embraces sensuality Mistress & Adeodatus accepts Manicheanism two opposed fundamental  forces for good and evil  (compare the  four forces of contemporary physics ) conflict manifested in all things, including  inevitable  human moral failing
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3 Becomes noted rhetorician Moves to Rome as a teacher in 384 Meets and studies w. Ambrose in Milan rejects Manicheanism & accepts (neo)  platonism after intellectual struggle adopts Christianity in  387 
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4 Returns to N. Africa & becomes bishop of  Hippo Writes extensively in philosophy and  theology Recognized as a “Father of the Church” Influenced much of medieval philosophy and  anticipates important ideas in modern  philosophy
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5 Knowledge and Illumination Distinguish knowledge of  sensible particular (contingent ) objects  nonsensible laws of science (or platonic  forms) universality necessity
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6 Experience limited by space and time results in knowledge of the sensible,  contingent particular cannot produce knowledge of the  universal and necessary We do have knowledge of the universal and  necessary.  How?
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7 An Example of Illumination Trickster secretly tells Confederate the  answers to questions that Confederate could  not otherwise know e.g. “What are the four numbers written  on the paper hidden in my desk?”
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8 Trickster & Confederate publicly perform  their trick for Witness Trickster asks the question Confederate “miraculously” answers correctly and  amazes Witness Witness concludes Confederate could not have known the (hidden)  answers through sensation Trickster must have informed (illumined)  Confederate That’s the only way  Confederate could have know the  answers
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9 Moral of the Story Confederate has knowledge beyond  the  bounds of sensation Only communication suffices to explain  Confederate’s knowledge Certainly, Confederate’s knowledge  acquired & not innate
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