Augustinian Elements in Heidegger's Philosophical Anthropology

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Abstract
Heidegger’s 1921 lecture course, “Augustine and Neo-Platonism,” shows the emergence of certain Augustinian elements in Heidegger’s account of the human being. In Book X of Augustine’s Confessions, Heidegger finds a rich account of the historicity and facticity of human existence. He interprets Augustinian molestia (facticity) by exhibiting the complex relation of curare (the fundamental character of factical life) and the three forms of tentatio (possibilities of falling). In this analysis, molestia appears as the how of the being of life. Heidegger also makes an important critique of what is Platonic in Augustine. Specifically, he rejects what he calls Augustine’s axiological interpretation of tentatio for a more existential one. Heidegger understands axiology to be a calculative preferring of one good over another in reference to a theoretical hierarchy of goods. We offer a defense of Augustine which focuses on the historical manner in which goods are disclosed in desire.
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Archival date: 2015-10-20
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2011-12-01

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