Re: [xmca] Augustine vs. Bauman?

From: E. Knutsson <eikn6681 who-is-at>
Date: Mon Nov 26 2007 - 04:24:57 PST

Augustine’s Confessiones is not usually reckoned as a modern autobiography.
Some historians even tend to express doubts about Abelard’s Historia

Augustine’s Confessiones offers the story of his life not as the story of an
individuality but as a typical story, as an exemplum for all Christians.
According to Troeltsch, there is in Augustine not only the abstract
individualism of the absolute natural law and the religious individualism of
the elect but also the supra-individual value of the community in the context
of the relative natural law and the supra-individual concept of the Church – a
most varied array of concepts.

"Within Augustinian metaphysics human intentions play a restricted role in the
narrative of the self because of predestination. ... [A] significant turning
point occurs between the late eleventh and early thirteenth centuries, when a
group of Latin authors link the self, literary experience, and the emerging
problem of intentions. Linguistic intentionality acquires the capacity to
perpetuate representations of the self in the same way that natural laws are
thought to maintain the harmonious operation of the world. Authority is partly
transferred from the divine to the human sphere, where its context is human
discourse." (Brian Stock, “The Self and Literary Experience in Late Antiquity
and the Middle Ages”, New Literary History, Vol. 25, No. 4, Autumn 1994, pp.


On 2007-11-26, at 01:04, mariasucupiralins wrote:
> Para:"eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"
> Cópia:
> Data:Sun, 25 Nov 2007 23:30:30 +0100 (CET)
> Assunto:Re: [xmca] Bauman on Identity
> it is said that the first person to write about his own self, and to have
discovered his identity is Agostinho from Hippona when he wrote his
Confessions. He really knew his identity.
> maria
> "Identity as such is a modern invention. To say that modernity led to
>> the `disembedding´ of identity, or that it rendered the
>> identity `unencumbered´, is to assert a pleonasm, since at no time did
>> identity `become´ a problem; it was a `problem´ from its birth - was born as
>> problem (that is, as something one needs do something about - as a task),
>> exist only as a problem; it was a problem, and thus ready to be born,
>> because of that experience of under-determination and free-floatingness which
>> came to be articulated ex post facto as `disembeddedment´. ... One thinks of
>> identity whenever one is not sure of where one belongs; that is, one is not
>> sure how to place oneself among the evident variety of behavioural styles and
>> patterns, and how to make sure that people around would accept this placement
>> as right and proper, so that both sides would know how to go on in each
>> presence. `Identity´ is a name given to the escape sought from that
>> uncertainty. Hence `identity´, though ostensibly a noun, behaves like a verb,
>> albeit a strange one to be sized as an attribute of a material entity,
>> has the ontological status of a project and a postulate. ... Identity entered
>> modern mind and practice dressed from the start as an individual task. It was
>> up to the individual to find escape from uncertainty. Not for the first and
>> for the last time, socially created problems were to be resolved by
>> efforts, and collective maladies healed by private medicine." (Zygmunt
>> Bauman, "From Pilgrim to Tourist - or a Short History of Identity"; Hall,
>> Stuart & Paul du Gay (eds.). Questions of Cultural Identity. London: Sage,
>> On 2007-11-23, at 20:31, Paul Dillon wrote:
>> > The citation of James Baldwin, a black homosexual, provides a limit case of
>> society's imposition of "identity". Things are clearer on the boundaries.
>> >
>> > An earlier post proposed the "identity" is a post-modern occidental
>> preoccupation but this mistakes language and meta-language. Nobody ever
>> about "oxygen" before Priestley isolated it while looking for de-
>> air.
>> >
>> > Lacking in identity? Let's see, are you an " atheist, baptist, hindu, or
>> jew, a buddhist, a catholic, or jain"? Do you cringe, grow enraged, or feel
>> exhalted upon hearing the "Star Spangled Banner" or the "International"?
>> >
>> > Paul
>> >

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Received on Mon Nov 26 04:26 PST 2007

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