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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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The Privacy of the Mind and the Fully Approvable Reading of Scripture

The Privacy of the Mind and the Fully Approvable Reading of Scripture

Augustine on Genesis 1:1*

(p.155) 7 The Privacy of the Mind and the Fully Approvable Reading of Scripture
Augustine's Confessions

Blake D. Dutton

Oxford University Press

In Confessions Book 12 Augustine gives a reading of Genesis 1:1 that he anticipates will be opposed by many of his fellow Catholics. He argues that these Catholic opponents should nevertheless approve this reading, not because it correctly explicates the intentions of Moses, but because it does not impute anything to the verse that they do not accept as true. The paper explores this argument by doing two things. First, it sets forth an analytical presentation of Augustine’s view of a fully approvable reading of Scripture. Second, it locates the foundation of this view in his commitment to the privacy of the mind, namely, the cognitive accessibility of each mind to itself and the cognitive inaccessibility of each mind to every other mind.

Keywords:   mind, knowledge, Scripture, interpretation, Genesis, creation

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