By Gerard O'Daly
This e-book offers an research of Augustine's discussions of the brain and soul of humans.
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Additional info for Augustine's Philosophy of Mind
An. 33). Augustine is no less cautious about another related problem, namely, identification of the moment when animation of the foetus occurs in the mother's womb: does it (a) coincide with the instant of conception, or does it (b) occur when the embryo is formed into a human shape, or does it (c) happen when the embryo first moves itself? Augustine does not opt for any one of these traditional views (qu. htpl. 80; div. quo 56; nat. tl or. an. 25), \. 60 Others were less undecided: Tertullian believed that animation coincides with conception (de anima 25 and 27), although the embryo can only be regarded as a human being from the time when it attains to its final form (ib.
Broadly speaking, Augustine can distinguish two kinds (genera) of mutability in the soul: For indeed the soul can be said to be changed in accordance with the body's affections, or in accordance with its own (imm. a/l. 7). In the former group the examples given are: ageing, sickness, pain, fatigue, distress and pleasure. In the latter group are included: the affections, such as desire, joy, fear, anger - but also diligence and learning. Thus the soul's changeable nature is affected both by the interaction of bodily and psychological states, as well as by the influence of the former upon the latter, and by specifically psychological conditions, including what we would call mental processes, such as volition or learning.
All are created individually in the primal creation; (b) the traducianist theory; (c) creationism (ib. 4). Of these, (c) is the most difficult, for it seems to undermine the completeness of the primal creation, or to revert to the rejected causal principle theory (ib. 5). The choice between (a) and (b) occupies Augustine until the end of Gn. litt. ll As he finds no clear Scriptural support for either alternative (ib. 31), his discussion remains inconclusive, dismissing only Tertullian's corporealist traducianism (ib.
Augustine's Philosophy of Mind by Gerard O'Daly