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  • Print publication year: 1967
  • Online publication date: March 2008

Chapter 23 - Augustine. Reason and illumination

from Part V - MARIUS VICTORINUS AND AUGUSTINE
Summary
Augustine likes to distinguish different grades in the range of knowledge of which the human mind is capable. Understanding, Augustine seems to suggest, is the distinctive work of human reason: it is the result of its application and pursuit. Augustine's theory would give the human mind direct access to the divine mind by illumination. Any radical distinction between illumination as a source of concepts and illumination as a rule of judgement lay far beyond Augustine's horizon. Augustine's terminology fluctuates; but he does make it quite clear that he envisages more than one mode of the divine presence to the mind, more than one level at which the mind participates in the eternal truth. Augustine's conception of memoria, like his theory of the mind's illumination, is the direct consequence of his adoption of the essential core of the Platonic theory of knowledge.
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The Cambridge History of Later Greek and Early Medieval Philosophy
  • Online ISBN: 9781139055147
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521040549
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