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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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Augustine’s Anti-Platonist Ascents*

Augustine’s Anti-Platonist Ascents*

Chapter:
(p.6) 1 Augustine’s Anti-Platonist Ascents*
Source:
Augustine's Confessions
Author(s):

Peter King

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199577552.003.0002

From the time he read the Platonist books, Augustine tried to reach God by engaging in a process of philosophical ascent, along the lines sketched out by the Platonic tradition. But his attempts were not initially successful, and his diagnosis of his difficulty is that he still experienced sexual urges. This led Augustine to a radically different understanding of ascent than that found in Plato, Plotinus, and Porphyry, following instead Ambrose, to see ascent not as an erotic enterprise but as a cooperative venture requiring God’s grace to succeed.

Keywords:   Augustine, ascent, God, Confessions, Porphyry, Plotinus, Ambrose

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