I Chapter

The Philosophy of Agustine

Introduction
"If I doubt, I exist -- Si fallor, sum."
Agustine
The present study examines the philosophy of Agustine. This research aims to investigate on Agustine’s education background and writings, especially about his theory of knowledge (epistemology), metaphysics, cosmology, psychology, liberty and grace, ethics, the City of God, and influence as a theologian and thinker. 
From this research we know Augustine's work in metaphysics, ethics, and politics remain important today. Key among these accomplishments are his metaphysical analysis of time, his ethical analysis of the evil, and his examination of the conditions for justified war.[1]
According to Leo Ruickbie, Augustine's arguments against magic, differentiating it from miracle, were crucial in the early Church's fight against paganism and became a central thesis in the later denunciation of witches and witchcraft. According to Professor Deepak Lal, Augustine's vision of the heavenly city has influenced the secular projects and traditions of the Enlightenment, Marxism, Freudianism and Eco-fundamentalism. For quotations of St. Augustine by St. Thomas Aquinas see Aquinas and the Sacraments and Thought of Thomas Aquinas. On the topic of original sin, Aquinas proposed a more optimistic view of man than that of Augustine in that his conception leaves to the reason, will, and passions of fallen man their natural powers even after the Fall. While in his pre-Pelagian writings Augustine taught that Adam's guilt as transmitted to his descendants much enfeebles, though does not destroy, the freedom of their will, Protestant reformers Martin Luther and John Calvin affirmed that Original Sin completely destroyed liberty.[2]
Furthermore, we observe that philosophy is considered by Augustine as the science for the solution of the problem of life; hence his thought mainly revolves around God and the soul, and consequently also around the problem of evil, which must be solved in order that one may know the nature of the soul. In a word, the thought of Augustine is more concerned with the solution of religious, ethical and moral problems than with those of pure speculation.[3]


[1]Augustine's philosophical method, especially demonstrated in his Confessions, has had continuing influence on Continental philosophy throughout the 20th century. Martin Heidegger refers to Augustine's descriptive philosophy at several junctures in his influential work, Being and Time. Hannah Arendt began her philosophical writing with a dissertation on Augustine's concept of love, (1929): "The young Arendt attempted to show that the philosophical basis for vita socialis in Augustine can be understood as residing in neighbourly love, grounded in his understanding of the common origin of humanity." Jean Bethke Elshtain in Augustine and the Limits of Politics finds likeness between Augustine and Arendt in their concepts of evil: "Augustine did not see evil as glamourously demonic but rather as absence of good, something which paradoxically is really nothing. Arendt ... envisioned even the extreme evil which produced the Holocaust as merely banal [in Eichmann in Jerusalem]. Augustine's philosophical legacy continues to influence contemporary critical theory through the contributions and inheritors of these 20th century figures. See, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Christian_vegetarians



[2] See, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Christian_vegetarians

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