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Augustine's ConfessionsPhilosophy in Autobiography$
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William E. Mann

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199577552

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199577552.001.0001

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Practical Rationality and the Wills of Confessions 8*

Practical Rationality and the Wills of Confessions 8*

(p.28) 2 Practical Rationality and the Wills of Confessions 8*
Augustine's Confessions

Tomas Ekenberg

Oxford University Press

The chapter examines the issue of what notion or notions of the will Augustine presupposes in his famous account of his own conversion in the eighth book of the Confessions. Augustine’s descriptions of his troubles in the garden in Milan are construed as cases of failure of practical rationality, and the possible roles a notion of the will might play in relation to reason and emotion in an overall theory of human action are assessed. It is argued that Augustine does not here propose a conception of the will as a distinct and autonomous faculty or power of the soul of fallen man. Rather, a psychological framework like that of his discussion of the good will in De libero arbitrio can be assumed to be valid still.

Keywords:   will, action theory, practical rationality, reason, passion, emotion

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