Thursday, 7 February 2019
Enrico Moro: Sensation, Perception and Levels of Consciousness in Augustine’s De Genesi ad litteram
The De Genesi ad litteram can rightly be considered one of the most important, and at the same time lest researched of Augustine of Hippo’s major works. In this twelve books exegetical commentary, the Bishop of Hippo devotes a great deal of philosophical reflection to the issue of self-awareness of the mind, by providing a refined analysis of the different levels of consciousness during the various phases of mental activity. The specific goal of the communication will be to examine a particularly relevant section of book XII (xxviii, 39–xxiii, 49), in order to show how Augustine, through a complex interweaving of philosophical arguments and medical doctrines, conceive the distinction and the interaction between mind and body. The following topics, in particular, will be discussed: the difference between sensation and conscious perception, the reflective self-consciousness during sleep, the temporary alienation of mind from bodily senses during the ecstatic state, the prophecy.