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Zoom: Res Philosophica Speaker Series Lecture

Friday, 02 October, 2020

Join Res Philosophica for a talk, “‘Memory' in Augustine’s Philosophy of Mind,” presented by Scott MacDonald, Ph.D., at 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2, via Zoom.

The talk is free and open to the public.


“Memory” (memoria) has a high profile in Augustine’s thinking about the nature of mind. Among other things, it is fundamental to his well-known theory of illumination and an essential constituent in his articulation of the trinitarian image of God in the human mind. But Augustine’s use of ‘memoria’ does not track our ordinary use of ‘memory.’ In his primary use of the term, ‘memoria’ does not refer to a mental capacity or activity which is essentially about past experience. It more nearly tracks our ordinary use of ‘mind,’ and the roles Augustine assigns to memoria make it the centerpiece of his sophisticated theory of mind. Drawing on a variety of texts, but centrally the so-called “treatise on memory” (in Confessions 10), MacDonald sets out a unified account of Augustine’s thinking about memoria and set it in the context of his general theory of mind.

About the Speaker

Scott MacDonald is a professor of philosophy and Norma K. Regan Professor in Christian Studies at Cornell University. He is spending fall 2020 as the Croghan Bicentennial Professor in Biblical and Early Christian Studies at Williams College.

His research includes medieval philosophy (especially Augustine and Aquinas), philosophical theology, and issues in moral psychology and the philosophy of action (especially those concerned with free will, moral responsibility and practical reasoning).

Email for the link to register.