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Title: Meaning and exegesis in the philosophy of St. Augustine
Author: Kotecha, Shreena
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis aims instead to look at what a major figure like Augustine, writing about interesting ideas, does with language and meaning in theory and practice. A study of Augustine can show us something interesting about how reader/text interaction works and, more specifically, how a rather influential reader interacts with a text that he believes to be of supreme importance. The questions of the philosophy of language and the language of philosophy tend to be considered in the abstract: I consider them in terms of a particular philosopher. Aqugustine wrote philosophy in a language that is meaningful to us. This thesis examines how and why he manages to do so. Chapter I examines what Augustine said about meaning and exegesis as theoretical concepts. Augustine is, throughout his writings on meaning, concerned with how the meaning of a text relates to belief in a text. This chapter focusses primarily on an early work, De Utilitate Credendi because it directly tackles this question. Chapter 11 addresses the fact that, for Augustine, meaning is far from being purely about language: the meaning of events is just as important and is closely connected to the meaning of words, passages and texts. Chapter III looks at whether what Augustine says regarding the theory of meaning and interpretation is something that he puts into practice when he interprets biblical passages; it focusses on Augustine's Genesis commentaries. The principal conclusion reached is that, when it comes to the study of meaning, purely theoretical work benefits from analysis of complex practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available