On Augustine’s Attitude towards Philosophy

Rafał Toczko

This paper treats about Augustine’s dei nitions and relections on philosophy. It proves that there occurred a major shit  in Augustine’s understanding of philosophy both in the field of epistemology and ethics. Author presents chronology of these changes, that takes into account not only strictly philosophical writings, but later works as well, especially these dedicated to polemics with Pelagius. Early Augustine understood philosophy as a domain of actions of ratio. Philosophy was – in Cassiciacum – a method of getting to grips with the eternal truths, dif erent than simple faith, but one that leads to God just as well. Its advantage is that it enables one to reach full insight into the true reality. At this stage he believes that any man trained in artes liberales can achieve intellectus Dei and reach perfect happiness. These views ceased to be repeated by Augustine already in the last decade of 5th century and later on. The optimistic view on ratio and philosophical way of life was shadowed by a more complicated nucleus of ideas, known as the theory of grace. Author discusses also G. Catapano’s thoughts on a shit  in Augustine’s attitude towards philosophers, even those from the school of Plato.


Keywords: Augustine · Cassiciacum · pelagianism · platonism · Porphyrios · metaphilosophy

Rafał Toczko – Ph.D., Assistant Professor at the Department of Classics, Faculty of Philology, Nicolaus Copernicus University of Torun, member of the Centre for Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture at the same University, secretary of Board of the Traditio Europae Foundation. Research interests: works of Augustine of Hippo, ancient heresies, H.-G. Gadamer and his interpretations of Plato’s philosophy, ancient psychology.   »  

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