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Augustine and the Limits of Virtue - James Wetzel

Augustine and the Limits of Virtue

Hardcover

Published: 31st July 1992
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Augustine's moral psychology was one of the richest in late antiquity, and in this book James Wetzel evaluates its development, indicating that the insights offered by Augustine on free-will have been prevented from receiving full appreciation as the result of an anachronistic distinction between theology and philosophy. He shows that it has been commonplace to divide Augustine's thought into earlier and later phases, the former being more philosophically informed than the latter. Wetzel's contention is that this division is less pronounced than it has been made out to be. The author shows that, while Augustine clearly acknowledges his differences with philosophy, he never loses his fascination with the Stoic concepts of happiness and virtue, and of the possibility of their attainment by human beings. This fascination is seen by Wetzel to extend to Augustine's writings on grace, where freedom and happiness are viewed as a recovery of virtue. The notorious dismissal of pagan virtue in 'The City of God' is part of Augustine's family quarrel with philosophers, not a rejection of philosophy per se. Augustine the theologian is thus seen to be a Platonist philosopher with a keen sense of the psychology of moral struggle.

Preface
Abbreviations
Introduction: Augustine and philosophy
Time-bound
The discipline of virtue
Wisdom's grief
Grace and conversion
Virtue in retrospect
Conclusion: free-will
Latin sources
Translations
References
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521405416
ISBN-10: 0521405416
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 264
Published: 31st July 1992
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 14.61  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.43