Aporie hledání Boha v paměti. Význam analýzy paměti v X. knize Augustinových Vyznání

Alena Roreitnerová


Recent philosophical interpretations of the Confessions, especially of Books I and X, often approach the question that Augustine raises there, i.e., that of a search for God, as a version of Meno’s paradox: How can we search for God if we don’t know him yet? Is it even possible to have any intentional relation to God, such as a desire to know him, if we lack any knowledge of him? And how can we ever know that we have found what we were searching for? According to Book X of the Confessions, we can find a point of orientation for this quest in an implicit knowledge of happy life (beata vita), one that every rational being somehow has in their memory. By considering this knowledge, Augustine is led to the assertion that the beata vita is joy in truth (gaudium de veritate). That’s why the interpretations following echoes of Meno’s aporia in the Confessions usually focus on these two components of happy life, or alternatively on the sense in which truth can be an object of joy. The first part of the paper seeks to determine the role of Meno’s aporia in the Confessions as a whole. The second part focuses on the nature of the connection between gaudium and veritas which can only be understood against the background of a detailed analysis of Book X; it also draws the reader’s attention to the peculiar role ascribed by Augustine in this context to the remembering of a past joy.