Dream bodies and dream pains in Augustine's "de natura et origine animae"

Vivarium 43 (2):213-249 (2005)
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Abstract

In his De Natura et Origine Animae, an answer to a work by Vincentius Victor, Augustine was drawn into attempting to answer some questions about what kind of reality dream-bodies, dream-worlds and dream-pains have. In this paper I concentrate on Augustine's attempts to show that none of Victor's arguments for the corporeality of the soul are any good, and that Victor's inflated claims about the extent of the soul's self-knowledge are the result of mistaking self-awareness for self-knowledge. Augustine takes the position that the feelings we have in dreams and the feelings of the dead, although they are real feelings, are not always the feelings they seem to be. This position is consistent with Augustine's later works, though it departs from his understanding of these issues in his earliest works.

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