Dhananjay Jagannathan

Oct 31, 2022

On Augustine's "Confessions"

A Discussion with Dhananjay Jagannathan

New Books Network 2022

What is freedom? If we are free, why do we feel anxiety? How do I relate to the world? Saint Augustine of Hippo asked himself these questions around 400 AD as he wrote Confessions—indeed, as he lived his life. At various points in his life, Augustine was a Manichaean, a Platonist, an academic, a father, and a thief. He was on a quest for truth, an understanding of himself as an individual and a human being. Augustine wrote this text in his forties when he was a bishop. Formally speaking, it is a prayer, a confession to God, but it also an extremely influential philosophical text and one of the earliest ever autobiographies. Columbia Professor Dhananjay Jagannathan discusses the huge existential questions that Augustine tackled and the conclusions he drew that have influenced modern philosophy. Dhananjay Jagannathan is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University. His research focuses on ancient Greek and Roman philosophy and the history of ethics, and he is currently writing a book on Aristotle’s moral epistemology. See more information on our website, WritLarge.fm.

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