Augustine and the Limits of Virtue

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9780521405416: Augustine and the Limits of Virtue

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.

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This sophisticated analysis of Augustine's thought on virtue and the will makes a notable contribution to Augustine studies, and casts light both on the subject of 'moral luck' and on the relationship between theology and philosophy generally.

About the Author:

James Wetzel is Professor of Philosophy at Villanova University and the first permanent holder of the Augustinian Endowed Chair in the Thought of Saint Augustine. He is the author of Augustine and the Limits of Virtue (Cambridge University Press, 1992) and Augustine: A Guide for the Perplexed (2010).

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Book Description CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS, United Kingdom, 2004. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.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. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780521405416

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Book Description Cambridge University Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Hardcover. 264 pages. Dimensions: 8.6in. x 5.6in. x 0.9in.Augustines 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 Augustines thought into earlier and later phases, the former being more philosophically informed than the latter. Wetzels 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 Augustines 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 Augustines 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. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Bookseller Inventory # 9780521405416

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