There is a puzzle at the heart of Augustine's philosophicalanthropology, however, that raises serious questions about how we areto construe the human condition. Depending on which of the fourhypotheses one were to choose, our condition can be regarded as adivinely ordained exile and trial (the sent hypothesis), theconsequence of sin conjoined with an almost immediately self-inflictedpunishment (the voluntarist hypothesis), or as some kind of relativelynatural habitat (the traducianist and creationist hypotheses). In thelatter case, there remain questions about how to construe the soul'screation in relation to God's activity (mediated in traducianism,direct in creationism) as well as about how at home the soul is in therealm of nature.
Also Paul Ricoeur (1913-2005) can be taken as one of these, although Ricoeur’s angle is decisively distinct from that of Augustine’s – it can be said to represent a certain “hermeneutical rationality”.
Augustine is a man with a rational mind.
These important qualifications notwithstanding, the fact remains thatthis Platonism also provided Augustine with a philosophical frameworkfar more pliable and enduring than he himself is willing to admit inhis later works. Moreover, this framework itself forms an importantpart of the philosophical legacy that Augustine bequeathed to both themedieval and modern periods.
Augustine: A Man of Great Genius
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As such Augustine changes his character slowly from book to book.
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Augustine Accepts Platonic Concept
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First, I will write an introductory page about Augustine.
The custom of having a “concubine” (concubinatus)was not unusual at the time, and it was virtually indistinguishablefrom formal marriage. But it could serve as an impediment to socialadvancement unless it was replaced by the more formal arrangement ofmatrimonium. What seems so troubling about this brief passageare the facts that Augustine never names his companion, that thedissolution of the relationship is treated with such brevity, and thatAugustine almost immediately forms a relationship with another womanwhile waiting almost two years for his prospective, arranged bride toreach legal age for marriage (though the marriage never took placeowing to Augustine's subsequent “conversion” recounted inBooks VII and VIII).