Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-5f95dd588d-q9h4c Total loading time: 0.292 Render date: 2021-10-28T12:24:08.911Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Chapter 3 - The Measure of Happiness

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 February 2018

Erik Kenyon
Affiliation:
Rollins College, Florida
Get access

Summary

De beata vita opens with a debate over the conditions of happiness and closes with an oratio in which Augustine grounds happiness in one’s relation to the Christian Trinity. Scholars routinely discuss either the work’s “philosophical” or “theological” halves but not both. I argue for a holistic reading by applying Contra Academicos’ method: ARP. Aporetic debate shows that happiness depends on having good things, moderation and God, yet stumbles on whether one who seeks God “has God” or not. Reflection on a wealthy individual who doesn’t care about virtue or truth stirs up debaters’ own desire for truth. Augustine’s oratio uses this desire to move beyond aporia, suggesting that a partial grasp of truth “admonishes” individuals to seek the whole of truth. He credits the Holy Spirit with this admonition and identifies the Son as the whole of truth and “measure of the soul.” A seeker after God thus has God the Spirit but not God the Son. The work’s overarching argument integrates philosophy and theology, reason and emotion. While explicitly skeptical language of plausibility is absent, reading this dialogue in terms of ARP makes the best sense of the work as a whole.
Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2018

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • The Measure of Happiness
  • Erik Kenyon, Rollins College, Florida
  • Book: Augustine and the Dialogue
  • Online publication: 16 February 2018
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108525558.004
Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

  • The Measure of Happiness
  • Erik Kenyon, Rollins College, Florida
  • Book: Augustine and the Dialogue
  • Online publication: 16 February 2018
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108525558.004
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • The Measure of Happiness
  • Erik Kenyon, Rollins College, Florida
  • Book: Augustine and the Dialogue
  • Online publication: 16 February 2018
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108525558.004
Available formats
×