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Perception, Sensibility, and Moral Motivation in Augustine
A Stoic-Platonic Synthesis


  • Date Published: January 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107017948

£ 77.00

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About the Authors
  • This book argues that Augustine assimilated the Stoic theory of perception into his theories of motivation, affectivity, therapy for the passions and moral progress. Using his sermons to elucidate his treatises, Sarah Catherine Byers demonstrates how Augustine enriched Stoic cognitivism with Platonism to develop a fuller and coherent theory of action. That theory underlies his account of moral development, including his account of the mind's reception of grace. By analyzing Augustine's engagement with Cicero, Seneca, Plotinus, Ambrose, Jerome, Origen and Philo of Alexandria, Byers sheds new light on a major thinker of the early Christian world whose work is of critical importance for understanding key and recurring themes in Western philosophy.

    • First study to show that a Stoic account of perception and mental language underlies Augustine's moral psychology
    • First study to resolve interpretative puzzles about famous passages in Augustine's major works by using his more than 500 sermons and commentaries on the psalms
    • Resolves the debate about the chronological development of Augustine's theory of grace
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Byers' well-written study makes a substantial contribution to Augustinian research and deserves a wide reception among scholars.' Tobias Uhle, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2013
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107017948
    • length: 268 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 16 x 152 mm
    • weight: 0.53kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Perception and the language of the mind
    2. Motivation
    3. Emotions
    4. Preliminary passions
    5. Progress in joy: preliminaries to good emotions
    6. Cognitive therapies
    7. Inspiration.

  • Author

    Sarah Catherine Byers, Boston College, Massachusetts
    Sarah Catherine Byers is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Boston College. She has held research fellowships at the University of Notre Dame, the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies in Toronto and Villanova University, Pennsylvania. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of the History of Philosophy, the Review of Metaphysics, Augustinian Studies, A Companion to Augustine (2012) and Augustine's City of God (2013).

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