Saturday, 2 May 2015

Lars Fredrik Janby: Temperance in Augustine's early works

Augustine adopted in his early works (386-391) the set of four virtues, known as the cardinal virtues, in accord with how they had been defined by Cicero. They appeared in a number of his works in this period, but is it possible to trace a development in their use? In this paper I investigate the evolvement of Augustine's interest in one particular of these virtues, temperance, within this early period. I propose that while keeping with the definition adopted from the philosophical tradition, Augustine gradually integrated temperence within a larger frame of his thought and while perhaps not making it the preponderant of the virtues, certainly began to take a particular interest in its meaning. Tracing this short history I hope to show how temperance gradually was engaged by Augustine in a more prolific string of thoughts after its original emergence as mere imitation.

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