Existentialist philosophers such as Heidegger, Jaspers, and Arendt have argued that we are thrown into the world and two questions immediately surface as a response to such a claim. Firstly, which world are we thrown into? This question arises because for Augustine there are two worlds: De Civitate Dei(the City of God) and De Civitate Terrena (the earthly city) and when the Day of Judgment arrives these two cities will be divided. Secondly, and relatedly, if, as the Bible suggests our existence is the beginning of a story, does this fact of being created(thrown into the world from our point of view)take precedence over the end of the story, namely the expectation of our inevitable death. In other words, if the focus is on the remembrance of the constitutional beginning does this reverse the polarity of the world for those whose lives are dominated by an anxious expectation or fear of death.
Much of course depends upon the context these questions are posed in. It is doubtful whether Aristotle’s work played much part in the intellectual development of St Augustine perhaps because of Aristotle’s acceptance of the existence of prime matter and its formless infinite essence which actually permits the conceiving of an infinite number of possible worlds each of which is constituted of the actualization of different forms. Self-knowledge and knowledge of God were in one sense inextricably intertwined in Aristotle’s metaphysical account of Man and his relation to Being. This account poses the question “What is man?” and responds to this question with a hylemorphic theory that condensed itself into the definition of man as a “rational animal capable of discourse”. The presence of the term “animal” may, of course, have caused Augustine to dismiss Aristotelian theory in favour of a dualistic theory which separates animals from man because it was man and not the animals whose lives(psuche) were created by the breath of God in accordance with some divine logos. It was probably blind belief in the literalness of the account of the creation of man in the Book of Genesis that was responsible for the fact that it was Plato’s more dualistic account of the relations of the soul to the body and the intellectual world to the physical world that caused a state of affairs in which Platonism was the Philosophy of choice for the religiously inclined. This in spite of the fact that we see in the Timeaus a Platonic move in the direction of the work of “the worldly” Aristotle.
But it ought to be remembered that St Augustine himself was the product of a spirit of an age in which many different schools of Philosophy and sects of religion were proliferating and competing for attention and supremacy, including Gnostic sects such as Manichaeism. Manichaeism was a dualistic theory that believed two bipolar forces were engaged in a struggle for control of the world: the force of Good and the force of Evil. St Augustine, for a period of time, embraced this Persian variation on a Gnostic theme just prior to being his being inspired and converted to Christianity by Neo-Platonic writings and the Bishop of Milan in 387 AD. The ideas of St Paul were then destined to mingle with the Platonic theory of forms. The co-mingling of these ideas from different universes of discourse was regarded as inconsistently eclectic by Hannah Arendt in her evaluation of St Augustine in her later works, including “The “Life of the Mind”.
St Augustine was neither Greek nor Hebrew. He was essentially a Roman-inspired by Romans, e.g. Cicero. He was also bewitched by the language of Latin( regarded by Heidegger as an “Imperial” language of power). For example, he attempted to juxtapose an idea of free will with what Arendt called the greatest of his academic sins, the belief in predestination. A notion, incidentally, not entirely inconsistent with being “thrown into the world”(with one’s human powers). Combine this with a view of time in which memory of the past plays a more significant role in the life of man than future expectancy and we are beginning to see a philosophical psychology forming that will have troubling implications in the future. A philosophical psychology very different to that of Aristotle in which the question of the existence/essence of man is transposed from the Aristotelian “What is man?” to the Augustinian question “Who is man?”. The former of course requires rational theory whilst the latter requires only memory of beginnings. From an Aristotelian or Kantian perspective, the transposition is a move toward ambiguity and confusion: it is a move away from philosophical psychology toward a more “scientific ” form of Psychology.
Ambiguity and confusion are not however present in the Augustinian dualism of the carnal and the spiritual will which in turn are connected to a dualism of earthly love(cupiditas) and spiritual other-worldly love of God(Caritas). The man who loves in this spiritual way is, of course, an inhabitant of two worlds: De Civitate Dei and De Civitate Terrena. He is at home in the former world and a “stranger” in the latter. What prevents this dualism from degenerating into Manichaeism is a Platonic commitment to the overarching role of the knowledge of the Good: a conception which regards evil as the absence of good and therefore as in some sense logically dependent upon the good. Unsurprizingly a dualism of selves is also involved in this account. Arendt, in her earlier work “Love and St Augustine”(p30) comments upon this latter dualism in the following way:
“The “good” of which man is deprived and which he therefore desires is life without death and without loss. Good as the object of love(as desire) is nothing but the manifestation of this “good”. By anticipating eternity(the absolute future) man desires his own future self and denies the I-myself he finds in earthly reality. In self-hatred and self-denial he hates and denies the present, mortal self, that is, after all, God’s creation. The criterion of right and wrong in loving is not self-denial for the sake of others or of God, but for the sake of the eternity that lies ahead. From this, it follows that man should not love in this life, lest he loses in eternal life…..To love God means to love oneself well, and the criterion is not God but the self, namely the self who will be eternal.”
The spiritual self loves God the best and will, therefore, dwell in eternity with this gender-neutral Being. The above discussion orbits around “who” the self of self-knowledge is and it has undoubtedly been influential in setting the terms of many debates in contemporary Philosophical Psychology. Arendt, in the above passage, it should be noted is herself evolving in her work toward a future position in works entitled “The Human Condition” and “The Life of the Mind” : a position that has much in Common with the Greek Philosophers for whom the resolution of the enigma of the flourishing life was resolved with the idea of areté, virtue(doing the right thing at the right time in the right way). This resolution, for her, was best manifested by human action in public space for the sake of a common good: a position that does not necessarily exclude one’s own welfare or the welfare of one’s neighbour. This might be construed as a move that takes us into the spiritual realm as defined by Arendt and perhaps by Augustine: a realm of discourse in a universe of pluralistic agents and concerns reasoning about “the good” as best they can, given that they have limited knowledge about the Civitas Dei and themselves. Pluralism is, of course, a key Aristotelian political category that was used to criticize the uniformity of life in Plato’s Republic. As Arendt’s work moved away from her dissertation on Augustine and towards her work entitled “The Human Condition”, we find her attempting to move away from what Kant called the principle of self -love in disguise and Augustine regarded as love of the earthly world in which the self and the present is dispersed in the many activities of the Civitas Terrena. The love we encounter in Civitas Dei, on the other hand, is a love of God which is absolutely devoid of the more conditional goods we find in the Civitas Terrena. The Spiritual life for Arendt, similarly, takes place in a city in which three kinds of human activity are ruled not by rationality and reason but by action in a public space: action that is inspired by one’s conscience. The other two types of activity, labour, and work, appear to be more Aristotelian than Platonic and appeal in the case of labour to the physiological and biological rhythms of the body and in the case of work, a pluralistic dispersion of the self in a manifold of activities in a world we love and fear to lose. In the Republic the freed prisoner who becomes enlightened once he understands the form of the good is persuaded to return to the realm of shadows in the cave(Civitas Terrena) thus bringing light in the form of knowledge to Civitas Terrena. The light may be extinguished however as was the light of Socrates in the Athenian Agora. In the same vein, we may reflect on the extinguishing of the light of Jesus. One of the consequences of these historical lessons may be a reluctance to engage epistemologically with Civitas Terrena. It is not absolutely clear that either the Platonic commitment to Reason and rationality or the application of the Aristotelian hierarchy of “forms of life” can be available to Augustin in virtue of his commitment to divine love or Caritas in the context of man’s being a question for himself. The transposition of the question “What am I?” to “Who am I?” in the context of both dualism and an extreme commitment to interiority(“go not forth: withdraw into your own self: in the inward parts of man dwelleth truth”) is a problematic transposition. Add to this the usurpation of the methodology of Reason in favour of Divine spiritual love or Caritas and we are in the midst of a dualistic theory of knowledge that Professor Brett in his “History of Psychology” characterizes thus:
“The work of St Augustine id dominated by aims which partly assist and partly retard his inquiries. As a philosopher, he seeks for truth, for knowledge that is without presuppositions and wholly certain and this he finds only in inner experience. In the writings of St Augustine, we find a second influence, the theological bent, which employs revelation as the guarantor of truth. Knowledge is, therefore, divisible into two main classes according as it is derived from revelation or from introspection. In the sphere of metaphysics, the nature of inner experience is made the starting point for the construction of a metaphysics of knowledge, and this is Augustine’s main interest. Subservient to this is the life of the self, the nature, origins, and faculties of the soul: which also attract the attention of Augustine for reasons both philosophical and theological. For the study of psychic life, the power of accurate introspective observation is supremely valuable: throughout the work of Augustine we find this power exhibited in a remarkable degree.”
The stage is hereby set for all the forms of solipsism we encounter in modern Philosophy and Theology. The search is on for the principium individuationis. We will confine ourselves in the inner cave of our Will and regard the external world as a perceptual/imaginative affair where the nature of matter is only to be understood via the controversial mechanism of revelation. Of course, matter for St Augustine subsequent to his Neo-Platonic readings and his baptism and conversion is no longer attributed to the process of creation by the evil forces in the world. It is rather a result of the process of creation by divine activity but our relation to matter via revelation remains problematic. It is also problematic that knowledge via introspection is construed as a form of observation. This commitment to such a dualistic methodology also raises a question in relation to the soul/body issue which remains hopelessly mystical in the framework of dualism. As we mentioned previously, Aristotelian hylemorphism and its characterization of a two-substance relation to a framework of different kinds of life-principle governing the life forms of different organisms is conspicuous by its absence. Psuche, for Augustine, is simply a substance derived from divine activity. Brett has the following to say on this issue:
“The soul was created by God at the time when the body was created. Its creation and its birth are distinct events: as nothing was created after the 6 days of creation. The soul must have been created then. The breath of God by which Adam became animated or endowed with anima, was the act by which the soul was transmitted into the body….the body he(St Augustine) regards as wholly dependent upon soul so far as its life is concerned: its vegetative functions are not possible without soul, and the body itself has importance only as the medium of sensation and as that which the soul must rule.”
The assumption of a dualism of substances is apparent but becomes more so when one considers that at death the Biblical metaphysicians claimed that the two substances can un-mingle and become separate substances again. Aristotle would have questioned this dualistic account and it was to combat all forms of dualism or its half brother of materialism that Aristotle formulated his hylemorphic metaphysics. For him the body and the soul are unseparable as the shape of the wax is inseparable from its material. Death, insofar as hylemorphic metaphysics is concerned is defined in terms of the absence of the power of the body to move any longer. The “part” of the soul, if that is the correct expression to use here, that is directly involved in the movement of the body, is the will. The relation of this willing part of the soul to the part that contemplates truths known by reason is ambiguous and unclear in the Augustinian system. Neo- Aristotelians and Kantians would probably, in contradistinction to dualism, claim that the will’s function is to bring about the reality or truth of what was actively desired or intended. Even in Plato’s work the “knowledge of the good” mitigates what can be construed as a dualism of physical action and contemplation.
Brett completes his analysis of St Augustine by using modern psychological terminology such as “consciousness”, object of attention” and “selection”:
“This is the first point at which we see how Augustine makes the Will the most important element in life. The simplest act of apprehension involves some degree of Will, for in it are compounded three elements: the mind is conscious of itself(memoria), aware of many possible objects of attention (intelligentia), and selects one with which it identifies itself (voluntas). The world for St Augustine is the place of countless voices, voices of nature calling to the soul: but only those are directly heard toward which the soul exerts itself in the will to attend, and more than all these is the voice of God whose eternal presence is an external appeal to the human will.”
Presumably the voice presents itself in both introspection and via the mysterious process of revelation and the soul being a substance can only have its essence revealed not in an act of apprehension(introspection) but also in some experience of revelation. The Will is related to God via Caritas or the spiritual form of love. Complete knowledge is impossible for the soul until it is capable of this spiritual form of love for God which is also used in one’s relations to one’s neighbour. All knowledge is primarily knowledge of God and secondarily knowledge of the spiritual self under the aspect of Caritas. Brett summarises the position clearly:
“In this exposition, we recognize Platonism penetrated by Christian mysticism. For Augustine, the activity of the mind presents a mystery to be contemplated and studied but not to be solved. He realizes (after Plato) that the turning around of the soul is the essence of education, but he thinks it is not enough to face the light: the eye can see what it does not know, but the mind does not so much as see that which it is not forced to see. If this is true of the mind, it is still more true of the spiritual eye. In the physical world seeing is believing: in the intellectual sphere belief is the condition of seeing. The soul cannot see before it is cured of its diseases, and therefore knowledge is impossible before the soul is in a fit condition. For knowledge is not like gold or silver: these we may know without having: knowledge we must have as part of our very being. The beginning of true knowledge then is not learning, but the will to learn, the disposition to exert the inner force…This disposition is really given by the grace of God: it is a mystery: but Augustine indicates a way of attaining knowledge, namely submission to authority by which he that would learn becomes fit to learn.”
Presumably the above requires acts of contemplation and perhaps this is a manifestation of submission to God’s authority: submission to a Being we know so little about and whose presence we intuit at the very best of times through a glass darkly. This in its turn suggests that we must travel in a circle of believing in order to understand and understanding in order to believe: a journey without a clear view of our destination: ” a mystery to be contemplated”! The interesting beginning of this journey is “the will to learn” given to us by another mystery, the grace of God which the above exercise of dialectical reasoning fails to reveal the essence of. Kant interestingly decries the usefulness of dialectical reasoning which in his view inevitably ends in a cul-de-sac of contradiction. In Kant’s view, to take one example, there is no resolution to the antinomy concerning whether the world has a beginning in time or not. There is, however, a form of philosophical contemplation which for Kant is revelatory of the power and freedom of the human soul to know the good. This “revelation” occurs in the domain of the soul concerned with willing when contemplation of the essence of the rightness of its past, present or future action is at issue. In this form of contemplation Kant argues that if I can will that the maxim or principle of my action can be thought to become a universal law then the action contemplated is/was/will be virtuous. there is nothing mystical about such acts of contemplation and there is further nothing problematic about the idea that a good will is the universal foundation of all virtuous action(defined by Aristotle as doing the right thing in the right way at the right time). Even Kant’s idea of God loses its mystery when he claims that the idea of God is the guarantor for the belief that a virtuous life will be in some non-materialistic sense, a flourishing life. It is, of course, something of a mystery as to just how this consequence follows from its conditions but it is a mystery that the religious man understands. This understanding moreover brings with it a spiritual form of contentment with his existence that transcends all earthly forms of suffering. This is probably what Plato and Aristotle would have thought of as “contemplating the form of the good”. The strength of the Kantian account also points to a weakness in the account of Augustine when it comes to his discussion of the relation between the earthly city of Babylon(De Civitate Terrena) and the spiritual city of God(De Civitate Dei). Introspection and revelation appear, in different ways, to remove us from the spheres of public and political judgment and action, whereas the kind of ethical contemplation of Kant (applying the test of the categorical imperative to all ethical action) appears to transport us to a very objective kingdom of ends containing the flesh and blood bodies of men implementing and obeying laws in an ethical spirit which meets the requirements of the type of practical reasoning involved in the application of the categorical imperative. Furthermore, there is a distinct element of realism in Kant’s proposed Kingdom of Ends. A conceived state of affairs that, according to Kant will take one hundred thousand years to actualize and manifest itself. For Kant, in contrast to St Augustine, there is no God choosing souls to love him, no divine policy of predestination, and no unnecessary substantification of souls with problematic relations to their own bodies. Kant’s view of the body is hylemorphic as is his view of the soul which he would not have regarded as a spatio-temporal continuity(principles have spatio-temporal application and continuity in that application but not materialistic continuity.
St Augustine, as we know, denied that the soul is in any sense “in time”, since it is eternal and immortal. Yet immortality suggests continuity of some kind. What kind of continuity does Augustine imagine is operating here? Brett characterises the matter thus:
“Augustine believed in the immortality of the soul. Time, he said is only the extensive measurement of experience, a distentio animi. The soul is not in time but time is rather the form in which the soul is presented to itself. There is consequently no difficulty in the idea of immortality, so far as time is concerned. The real problem is to find some reason for this continuous reality of the soul. Augustine finds it in the fact that reason is truth, and truth as such is not in a class of things to which change or corruption has any relevance. As we, in fact, say now, change is a category of the mind and not a category under which the mind can be brought. In fact all our ideas of things are forms of reason and when true are eternal. The soul which has(or is) eternal truth must itself be eternal.”
There is not much that Kant would be opposed to in the above account. Aristotle though would probably object to change being characterized solely in terms of the category of the mind. He would insist that change is real and Perception of change is testimony for such a position. Both would, however, accept that reason and truth, insofar as they are the aspects under which thought occurs are continuously real and have no material spatio-temporal existence. Both would also agree that principles insofar as they are necessarily products of reasoning and truth are eternal and immortal in the sense that they are not materially related to the categories of “being-in-time” or “being alive”. Rather, Principles are “unconditional” in the Kantian search for all the conditions of existence of spatio-temporal phenomena. Reason, in other words, is the power the mind has to arrive at the totality of conditions of phenomena as well as the unconditional “ground” of these conditions. Such power belongs, at least as far as Aristotle is concerned, to the human being as a holistic entity defined in terms of “rational animal, capable of discourse”. Our psychological powers, as opposed to our physical powers, are attributed to the soul and are manifestations of principles, or in Kant’s terms, these principles are the unconditioned “ground” of the totality of conditions relating to the exercise of such powers. The relation of the physical powers of the body such as sensation and perception to the powers of the soul such as imagination, discourse and reason is what a Neo Aristotelian or Neo Kantian philosopher would regard as an aporetic question with no simple solution only so long as one continues to conceive of the soul or mind as some kind of substance, rather than as a principle of explanation. Neo Wittgensteinians such as P.M.S. Hacker also regard the human being or person as the logical bearer of the above powers. He discusses this matter thus in his work “Human Nature:the Categorical Framework”:
“What, then, is the relationship between the mind and the body? The mind/body problem is insoluble. For it is a hopelessly confused residue of the Platonic/Augustinian/Cartesian traditions. It cannot be solved: but it can be dissolved. The mind is not an entity that could stand in a relationship to anything. As we have seen, all talk of the mind that a human being has and of its characteristics is talk of the intellectual and volitional powers that he has and of their exercise. The body that a human being is, the living organism, has and exercises those distinctive intellectual and volitional abilities that we speak of when we speak of peoples minds. But the body that a human being is said to have when we speak of human beings as having beautiful or athletic bodies, is not the kind of thing that could be said to possess intellectual and volitional abilities…. These characteristics are not the kinds of thing that could make up their mind, recall things to mind, or change their minds.”
Hacker goes on to compare the above relation not with the principle and what it regulates or the unconditional in relation to a totality of conditions. He uses an allegory of a word (insofar as it has a set of usages) to the phonemes it is composed of. The former is the holistic phenomenon conceived in terms of the usages of the word concerned in discourse of various kinds.
Wittgenstein, as we know, complained about St Augustine’s theory of language, suggesting that perhaps it was behind the misconception of language as composed of a set of names that he had presented in his early work “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus”. Wittgenstein’s later work rejected his earlier theory of the meaning of language in favour of a theory that focused on the actual use of words and sentences in various forms of discourse. Each form of discourse was like a game we play with rules which we learn to use when we acquire language in our childhood. These language games are embedded in very Aristotelian sounding “forms of life”(human activities). Amongst the grounds, Wittgenstein had for the repudiation of this aspect of his earlier work was the accusation of postulating a solipsistic linguistic soul and one is left wondering whether this “power of projecting” the language structure of what appeared to be a private language user was also a result of the influence of Augustine.
St Augustine’s account of the relation between the soul and the body proceeds via the relation of the sensations the body experiences and the truth about reality that those sensations “reveal”. Brett characterizes St Augustine’s position in the following way
“The mind strives to see the truth. In sensation it sees truth through the body, which is the only way of apprehending some truths.”
On this kind of account, sensation and perception are intellectual powers that play an important part in the “revelation” of the nature of the physical world. This creates a possible defensible realm for the knowledge of external material objects. Augustine goes on to insist, however, that the experience of “externality” is a delusion. Brett summarizes this point thus:
“Knowledge is always of an object and seems to keep the object away fro the observer: in perception there is an outer object, and science is no more than a system of such perceptions. But the perceptions themselves are not outside us:they are really ourself in action, and they illuminate themselves until the inner light increases or breaks up the darkness of ignorance. At that point man became conscious that the relation to outer objects is unsatisfactory. What a man knows truly he makes part of himself….. After science with its delusion of externality, comes wisdom: here knowledge reaches its highest development, but the nature of man is still not wholly formed:so long as the reason is a dry light it is partly abstract but when the will identifies itself with the known, when Love is added to wisdom, every element in mans nature is fused into a unity, the unity is complete and the development is finished.”
So, the Will involved in the love of God has the final word. The introduction into this account of the important role of the Will anticipates the Wittgensteinian later picture of language as active. It also anticipates the Kantian emphasis upon practical reasoning and its close relation to what he called the noumenal soul or mind as well as the relation of theoretical reasoning to the Truth. the problem with the Kantian position is of course to give a clear account of the relationship between practical and theoretical reasoning given the conviction that Kant had that, in dealing with practical matters we are also dealing with the Truth . The difference between the Kantian and Augustinian accounts is that firstly, for Kant the practical form of reasoning is not just related to oneself and ones neighbour but also to the ethical and universal principle of the categorical imperative: and secondly that for Kant, the attitude of mind characteristic of ethical action was not Love but the more psychically distanced attitude of Respect.
Insofar as religious attitudes are concerned Kant does discuss the concept of a holy will(the supremely good will) in relation to Respect but it is important to remember in this context that the ethical philosophy of Kant is characterised by Kant as autonomous and organized by the principle of freedom rather than the idea of God . Kant, however, sees a place for Religion for explaining the relation of leading a good life in accordance with the categorical imperative and the human expectation of a consequence in the form of a flourishing life. Freedom, for St Augustine, insofar as it is construed as the power to cause oneself to spontaneously begin something new and unique, is denied to man and reserved for God who is free to choose those souls whose destiny will flourish during their bodily lifetimes. The awkward logical consequence of this aspect of Augustine’s thought is that it seems that the earthly city is a divided city. There are those that dwell spiritually in the city of God whilst simultaneously dwelling in the earthly city, the “predestinates” as Bertrand Russell calls them in his work “The History of Western Philosophy”. Those who are not yet or cannot ever be predestinates, are “reprobates” in Russell’s terms. Religion and the earthly city seem to be involved in an “unholy alliance”. The opposing Kantian view of unethical activity in the earthly city is that the law will blame any reprobate for their unethical activities: i.e. the individual will be held responsible because of the principle of freedom which claims that every individual is free to choose their actions. This for Augustinians would be a form of Secularism that rejects predestination and all its implications. With reference to the Philosophy of Aristotle it is important to point out that in contrast to the Kantian form of secularism, religious attitudes were well 9ntegrated into the Greek city-state system. These attitudes were encoded in the law and everyone expected the gods to be respected in the Agora. Kant, in contrast to St Augustine, avoids a religious eschatological end or telos in favour of an earthly cosmopolitan world free of bureaucratic religious institutions, which simultaneously manifest respect not just for each other but more abstractly for the rule of law and even more abstractly the idea of God.
The major obstacle in the path of Cosmopolitanism is of course Wars between nations which Kant views as anathema to cultural development. It is therefore somewhat surprising, in this context, to note that St Augustine actually formulated the concept of a just war and criteria for its fulfillment. For Kant wars were unethical but inevitable given the fact that Reason was only potentially present in the species of man and until this potentiality became actualized the antagonistic nature of man would have to learn by the experience of the wasteful and destructive forces of war. Kant, in response to this state of affairs, did, however, suggest an institution that might help in the prevention of war and war-crimes, namely a United Nations with an international legal system and law courts. This seems initially to be the dream of an idealist until one is informed of the fact that Kant thought that the Cosmopolitan state of affairs he envisaged was ca one hundred thousand years in the future.
St Augustine also theorized about the nature of Time. Time, he insists has been created by God and therefore must have a beginning. This is in marked contrast to the account of time we find in Aristotle which is infinite with no beginning. Augustine’s account is however more related to Philosophical Psychology than it is to epistemology, metaphysics or the philosophy of History. For Augustine human time is characterized thus:
“There are three times: a present time about things past: a present time about things present: a present time about things future”(Confessions xi 20,26: xi 28,37)
The past, argues Augustine, is in itself unreal, and exists only from the perspective of a present memory of what has happened to me and what I have done. The future too, is also unreal and exists only from the perspective of an expectation of what will happen to me and what I want to do. The latter mode of action relates to our desires and contains the key to ethical action because it is in the name of Caritas that I love God and am forgetful of my solipsistic wants and wishes. The state of Caritas is only achievable by predestinates who hope to emulate the divine state of mind of God. Such a state involves, of course, transcendence of any human conception of time.
Augustine appears to be asking us to hope for immortality and in so doing transcend human nature. Arendt however undermines the future aspect of human expectation(which includes the expectation of death):
“it is memory and not expectation(for instance the expectation of death as in Heidegger’s approach(that gives unity and wholeness to human existence. In making and holding present both past and future, that is, memory and the expectation derived from it, it is the present in which they coincide that determines human existence. This human possibility gives man his share in being “immutable” “(Arendt, Love and St Augustine B: 033 192)
In an interpretative essay included in the above work Joanna Vecchiarelli Scott and Judith Chelins Stark made the following comment on the above quote:
“Arendt also notes that the return to the Creator through imitation “is not a matter of Will and free decision: it expresses a dependence inherent in the face of createdness” …Mans dependence relies exclusively on remembrance–memory is the “space” between past and future in which the “questing search” for the Creator takes place. Memory is equated with consciousness defined as a fundamental mode of dependence and cited as proof of the gap between essence and existence and the fact that God is both “in” and “outside” man” “(p168)
It has been clear throughout this discussion that there are characteristically two worlds for St Augustine: the divine fabric of the world of God and the world created by the efforts and desire(love for the earthly city) of man. The first is an atemporal entity and the second is necessarily temporal with all the accompanying disadvantages. the above quote points out that God is both inside and outside of man and this provision ensures that this dualism is not problematic although the relation between the two worlds appears to require further explanation. It is in this connection that St Augustine’s philosophy of History emerges as questionable. There appears in this account a more problematic dualism between a linear history of existence evolving toward unique and unrepeatable events and the Platonic/Aristotelian conception of universal and cyclical forms that constitute the continuous oneness and goodness of Being. The former is present in his tendency to use the Bible as a source for the linear approach. Obviously there is one and only one unique and unrepeatable creation, one and only one coming, departure and resurrection of Christ and these perhaps demand the operation of the epistemological mechanism of revelation if we are to understand these events for what they are. This approach, however also requires the epistemological mechanism of introspection if my memories of unique events and uniquely related events are to become a part of my understanding. And yet we also find in Augustine the aspect of a progress toward an eschatology with a universalistic end in the oneness and goodness of Being.
In Civitas Terrena there is a universalistic eschatology that will end in a Day of Judgment in which those that have had the grace to renounce their selfish desires will be saved and those with more worldly bodily related desires will be damned. History, for St Augustine is clearly, then, both a history of Civitas Terrena and Civitas Dei: the result of which will be a separation of the City of God from the city of man.The Day of Judgment will obviously be conducted in accordance with the forms or principles of virtue in general and justice in particular.
So, paradoxically, Augustine eschatology is rational and universal in nature but the rationality involved evokes Aristotelian and Kantian ethical principles. There is also more than a hint of the Platonic allegory of the Cave in the vision of the liberation of souls who through a combination of earthly work in search of the divine Caritas find their way out of the realm of the shadows and darkness into the divine light of Bring.