By Nigel Tubbs (auth.)
Nigel Tubbs takes the background of Western philosophy to be the quest for first ideas. Arguing that neo-Platonic common sense, essentially false impression the unfavorable, posited philosophical inspiration as errors. Kant and Hegel later re-educated the fashionable brain approximately negation in common sense, remodeling the way in which sleek philosophy contests first principles.
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To seek God is already to love the soul, and to seek again is to love the love that is God in the soul. Here Augustine distinguishes himself from the Neoplatonic philosophers who, he believes, miss the significance of faith. Lacking faith they are at best ‘bravely miserable’ (2002a, 115). They know what they aim for but they do not know how to get there. It is not by human reasoning alone that one can come to know God but also by the faith in what the soul teaches about love, happiness, and immortality.
The principle virtue of all learners, whether of a human or divine teacher, ‘is to endeavour to imitate their perfect master, as far as those who are imperfect can imitate a perfect man’ (2006, 102). Philo finds education in error as a gift from God. Plotinus and Proclus extend this idea. Plotinus Alexandrian Neoplatonism has Plotinus as perhaps its foremost representative. His thoughts are recorded in the six Enneads selected and put together by his pupil Porphyry, who also wrote of the life of his master.
Faith in God is the way that leads to God. An example that Augustine gives here is of the idea of the just man. When one looks inwardly into his soul he can find there the truth of the just man even though he is not (yet) such a man. The just man is the beauty of the soul, and the soul therefore can educate man from within himself about justice in such a way that he can love it and strive for it as his own truth. Thus, he wills the just man as he wills himself. Augustine argues here that as the soul teaches man to love the just man in him, so too this educates man to love his neighbour, for to treat another unjustly would be to love the unjust in man himself.
History of Western Philosophy by Nigel Tubbs (auth.)