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

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

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