My thesis, then, is that Augustine's pessimism about the human will has its conceptual roots in his Platonism, while the undeniably optimistic elements that remain in his view of human nature have roots that go back through his Platonism to his Manichaeanism. When he speaks in a dualistic mode, stressing the immortality and superiority of the soul, the need to tum away from things of the body, and the claim that God is found within the soul and not among external things, he is sounding themes that Manichaeanism and neo-Platonism have in common. When he speaks of the evil in our souls and the goodness of the visible world, he is sounding the Platonist themes that led him away from Manichaeanism and back to the Catholic Church.


Issue contains the subject matter of the 1994 Philosophy Colloquium, which had the theme "Augustine on Human Goodness: Metaphysics, Ethics and Politics." It was held April 7-9, 1994.



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