Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Book VIII, Chapter 9

Augustine explores the psychological questions the he raised at the end of chapter 8. Of course, the unconscious mind was undiscovered at the time of Augustine, but here Augustine is knocking on the front door of knowledge of the mind, something he does time and again. I don’t know for a fact if Freud was familiar with the psychological thought of Augustine, but I suspect that he was. Although some of Augustine’s assumptions and conclusions were wrong, he was looking in the right places and asking the right questions.

I tried a Google search on, “Freud Augustine” and a 10 minute perusal of the results shows a number of thinkers that see many in-depth parallels between Freud and Augustine, with some of it fairly negative on the both of them, by the way.

My Google search also uncovered these two tidbits that relate to my first paragraph:

This URL says that Augustine prefigured Freud by coming "close to discovering" the subconscious mind: http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/1994/94.05.07.html

The article at this URL says that the idea of the unconscious mind goes back to Augustine:
http://www.khouse.org/articles/1997/7/ As a tangent, this article takes a very balanced and a very orthodox Christian view of the subconscious, healing, and psychotherapy.

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