The World Explored, the World Suffered Education Issue Nr. 32 July 2020 - Page 10

meanings appeared to be best investigated by the logical principles of identity, non-contradiction and sufficient reason. Thinking of the Forms which would in logic be regarded as necessary truths implies that the negation of these truths could not be possible in this realm of meaning for the simple reason that it is not possible to think contradictions. The Principle of Contradiction therefore defines or circumscribes the limits of thought. Human souls, as we know, sometimes believe we are thinking about something even when we possess contradictory beliefs or when we regard the compatibility of two forms as impossible or contradictory. This testifies to our finitude and the fact that we are mixed beings composed by the Demiurge of thought and material. We only approach the level of contemplation once we rid ourselves of all contradiction and can finally in a contemplative state mean everything we think. If we are further able to mean everything we say we embrace the Logos of the divine. Heraclitus, as we know believe” Plotinus was a Neo-Platonist and his work contributed to the eclipsing of the Aristotelian reformation of the theory of forms by hylomorphic theory. The third essay is on St Augustine. Here too the infuence of Aristotle was minimal: ”It is doubtful whether Aristotle's work played any part in the intellectual development of St Augustine perhaps because of Aristotle's acceptance of the existence of prime matter and its formless infinite essence which actually permits the conceiving of an infinite number of possible worlds each of which is constituted of the actualisation of different forms. Self-knowledge and knowledge of God were in one sense inextricably intertwined in Aristotle's metaphysical account of Man and his relation to Being. This account poses the question "What is man?" and responds to this question with a hylomorphic theory that condensed itself into the definition of man as a "rational animal capable of discourse". The presence of the term "animal" may, of course, have caused Augustine to dismiss Aristotelian theory in favour of a dualistic theory which separates animals from man because it was man and not the animals whose lives(psuche) were created by the breath of God in accordance with some divine logos. It was probably blind belief in the literalness of the account of the creation of man in the Book of Genesis that was responsible for the fact that it was Plato's more dualistic account of the relations of the soul to the body and the intellectual world to the physical world that in its turn caused a state of affairs in which Platonism was the Philosophy of choice for the religiously inclined. This in spite of the fact that we see in the Timeaus a Platonic move in the direction of the work of "the worldly" Aristotle. But it ought to be remembered that St Augustine himself was the product of a spirit of an age in which many different schools of Philosophy and sects of religion were proliferating and competing for attention and supremacy, including Gnostic sects such as Manichaeism. Manichaeism was a dualistic theory that believed two bipolar forces were engaged in a struggle for control of the world: the force of Good and the force of Evil. St Augustine, for a period of time, embraced this Persian variation on a