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Anthropology - 02a

St Augustine : Students on excursion Colegio San Agustin Madrid Spain
Students on excursion
Colegio San Agustin
In his anthropology Augustine could not "leave religion out of it" because for him there was no division between natural and supernatural reality.
There was no "natural" human being devoid of a religious sense or of connections with supernatural reality.
One of the best-known consequences of the anthropology of Augustine is his notion of interiority.
(What is here called interiority in English is interioridad in Spanish, and interiorita in Italian.)
Interiority means a search of the heart, of the interior of self, of the life and consciousness of a person.
It is the nature of the human species to need consciously to tap into the presence of God within the human soul in order to understand as fully as possible what it most truly means to be human.   
In the anthropology of Augustine, therefore, what sort of beings are we? What is our basic human nature?

Augustine is most probably unique among the classic philosophers in the Western tradition by beginning to examine this question by observing babies.

By watching babies he determined that they are always in a world of flawed interpretation. Before they learn language, babies make signs in an attempt to convey meaning, but this is not perfectly understood by older persons watching them. The baby becomes frustrated and begins to cry.

Once children acquire the power of speech, Augustine says they enter the "stormy life of human society" where we are forever trying to signify meaning and finding that communication is always flawed.

(Continued on the next page.)

Anthropology - 02a
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