From Robert Grosseteste to Jean-François Lyotard, Augustine’s suggestion that time is a “dilation of the soul” (
distentio animi) has been taken up as a seminal and controversial time-concept, yet in
The Space of Time, David van Dusen argues that this ‘dilation’ has been fundamentally misinterpreted.
Confessions XI is a dilation of the
senses—in beasts, as in humans. And Augustine’s time-concept in
Confessions XI is not Platonic—but in schematic terms, Epicurean.
Identifying new influences on the
Confessions—from Aristoxenus to Lucretius—while keeping Augustine’s phenomenological interpreters in view,
The Space of Time is a path-breaking work on
Confessions X to XII and a ranging contribution to the history of the concept of time.
’s beginnings, this was the central problem for Islamic reformers, too. Sociologists inherited this question from political philosophy and its key European representatives, such as ThomasHobbes (1588–1679), John Locke (1632–1704), and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778). In 1908, the German sociologist Georg
exalting “the splendors of the religious imagination” or its supposed spiritual benefits: that is not where this argument is coming from. On the contrary, the claim is grounded in the classic Enlightenment tradition of empirical and critical philosophy from ThomasHobbes and David Hume to Immanuel Kant
better and asserted that Spinoza was much worse and more dangerous than the aforementioned tract. Some orthodox polemicists turned the tables and identified the three impostors as the deist Herbert of Cherbury, ThomasHobbes and Spinoza. In view of the revived Spinozist controversy in the 18th century