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Philosophy - 01

St Augustine : Augustinian professed students in Rome
Augustinian professed
students in Rome
Augustine had no formal education in philosophy, but nevertheless was a natural philosopher with varied interests.
 
His use of philosophy in his theological writings had an impact and an abiding influence on Western philosophical thought.
 
The Ten Main Contributions of Augustine to Philosophy.
 
 
1. Theory of Time: In the Confessions Book 11 Augustine developed a very provocative concept of time.
 
2. Learning Language: Augustine attempted to explain how small children learn and express language.
 
3. Faith Seeking Understanding: In his Sermon 43.7, 9 Augustine asserted: Crede, ut intelligas ("Believe in order that you may understand").
 
4. Ontological Argument: The writings of Augustine also influenced the subsequent formulation by Saint Anselm of the ontological argument for the existence of God.
 
5. Refutation of Scepticism: The statement of trench philosopher, René Descartes (1596-1650), cogito ergo sum ("I think, therefore I am") is derived from dubito ergo sum ("I doubt, therefore I am") and si fallor sum ("If I am deceived, I am") by Augustine.
 
6. Proof of the existence of God from Eternal Truths: Augustine argued that the human mind apprehends universal, objective, unchanging, and necessary truths that are superior to the human mind itself. Thus an eternal God exists to explain these eternal truths.
 
7. Response to the Problem of Evil: Augustine argued that while evil is real it is not a substance or a "stuff." Rather, evil is an absence of goodness.
 
8. Divine Illumination: Augustine developed an epistemology (theory of knowledge) known as divine illumination. Human knowledge is thus directly dependent upon God.
 
9. Creation Ex Nihilo: Augustine vigorously argued that God created the world ex nihilo (creation "out of nothing" or "from nothing"). Certain points of the thought of Augustine 1,500 years ago are very consistent with the modern "big bang" theory within cosmology.
 
10. The Examined Self: In his Confessions, Augustine was one of the first to write in depth about the self, particularly in relation to God.
 
(Continued on the next page.)
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