The purpose of the paper is to show a mutual interaction of Platonic and Christian ideas in the pear theft narrative from Book Two of the Confessions. Augustine is provocatively questioning the Platonic theory of good, evil, and love by suggesting that in the theft he loved evil itself. He is considering three possible explanations, but is not fully content with any of them. Not having any better theory than the Platonic one, Augustine is suggesting that moral evil is completely beyond understanding. What is new in Augustine’s provocative analysis is placing the irrationality and incomprehensibility of moral evil in the context of the “I-Thou” relationship of the soul with God.
This article explores the conception of self-knowledge in book 10 of Augustine’s De Trinitate. Augustine starts from the worry in Plato’s Meno that one cannot search for something entirely unknown and engages with Plotinus, Ennead 5.3 in developing his own understanding of the mind’s self-knowledge. He concludes that this knowledge is paradoxical in nature: it is necessary and, at the same time, futile; and it is separated from the knowledge of God. Augustine reaches this point by rejecting the Aristotelian identity of the knower with the known, as well as by grounding self-knowledge in the fact of the mind’s intimate presence to itself. Ultimately, self-knowledge appears to be an ‘objectless’ knowledge, a knowledge that the mind exists rather than knowledge of what the mind is.
The purpose of the article is to demonstrate that the ascent of the soul as one of the fundamental spiritual exercises in Plotinus’ philosophy can be approached from three perspectives: anabatic proper, aphaeretic and agnoetic. All of them are based on the hierarchical structure of knowledge and being in Plotinus’ philosophy, but they differ in details. The methods are reconstructed on the basis of the analysis of selected passages from the Enneads.
The article analyzes the friendship narratives contained in Books Two, Three and Four of Augustine’s Confessions, treating them not as biographical accounts, but as illustrations of Augustine’s philosophical ideas, namely, the fall of the soul and the role played in it by love. All those narratives seem to describe a homoerotic dimension of friendship. It is argued that making such homoerotic friendship, and not heterosexual love between man and woman, an allegory of the fall of the soul enables Augustine to show better the mechanism of the fall, namely, its excessive intensity and the fact that it perverts a naturally good relationship of the soul with the whole of creation.