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3 Remarks on the Genre and Sources of Augustine’s Confessions

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Chapter Summary

Lyotard writes that Augustine excels in the desire of philosophy, pagan or not; in the appetite to restore the diverse to the unity of the true through logical articulation. Nevertheless, the Confessions are not of this vein. Augustine's confession is not a treatise of philosophy in which the way would be traced through a conceptual discrimination between the sensible/intelligible, soul/body. This chapter stresses the sensitivity and perspicuity of this last statement. And s hows that sensibile/intelligibile is a distinction that Augustine employs in book XII for the first time, in this precise terminology, in the Confessions, so it is useful to recall Lyotard's caution here. Yet if the Confessions are not, like Augustine's debut work, 'a treatise of philosophy', or like his preordination works a dialogue, then what is the genre of the Confessions?.

Keywords: Augustine's confession; Lyotard; treatise of philosophy



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