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Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy, Volume 3$
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Robert Pasnau

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198743798

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198743798.001.0001

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Augustine on the Varieties of Understanding and Why There is No Learning from Words

Augustine on the Varieties of Understanding and Why There is No Learning from Words

Chapter:
(p.1) Augustine on the Varieties of Understanding and Why There is No Learning from Words
Source:
Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy, Volume 3
Author(s):

Tamer Nawar

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198743798.003.0001

This chapter examines Augustine’s views on language, learning, and testimony in De Magistro. It is often held that, in De Magistro, Augustine is especially concerned with explanatory understanding (a complex cognitive state characterized by its synoptic nature and awareness of explanatory relations) and that he thinks testimony is deficient in imparting explanatory understanding. The chapter argues against this view and gives a clear analysis of the different kinds of cognitive state Augustine is concerned with and a careful examination of his arguments concerning the deficiencies of testimony in producing these cognitive states.

Keywords:   Augustine, De Magistro, philosophy of language, epistemology, testimony, understanding

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