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The Theological Epistemology of Augustine's De Trinitate$
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Luigi Gioia

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199553464

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199553464.001.0001

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Wisdom or Augustine's Ideal of Philosophy

Wisdom or Augustine's Ideal of Philosophy

(p.219) 10 Wisdom or Augustine's Ideal of Philosophy
The Theological Epistemology of Augustine's De Trinitate

Luigi Gioia

Oxford University Press

From the analysis of polemical passages against philosophers it appears that Augustine was not simply criticizing some of their views but questioning the foundations of received epistemology altogether. Books 9 to 11 highlight the paradox of self‐knowledge, or rather of self‐forgetting (obliuio sui) because it is paradigmatic of philosophical activity as a whole. Sin impairs not only our ability to know God, but our ability to know altogether. If books 4 and 13 establish that it is impossible to philosophize without Christ, the second half of the De Trinitate as a whole is meant to refine this assertion by stating that the integrity of our ability to know ourselves and therefore God and everything else depends on love. The discussion of science and wisdom Augustine undertakes from book 12 onwards is therefore approached in this chapter as his own version of what a restored epistemology should look like. The ideal philosophy, or wisdom, identifies knowledge with worship through Christ.

Keywords:   epistemology, self‐knowledge, philosophical, sin, love, science, wisdom, epistemology, worship

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