St. Augustine’s philosophy marked a decisive turning point in the history of the West, the first systematic repudiation of the ancient Greek philosophical outlook in favor of Christian religion. Augustine’s ethics was especially crucial. He fundamentally repudiated the content of pagan views of virtue even as he retained certain trappings of their framework. The most telling example was Augustine’s celebration of the virtue of humility, in defiance of the Greek virtue of pride. This talk will highlight the roots of Augustine’s elevation of humility and outline how it helped usher in the dominance of the morality of altruism in both religious and secular Western philosophy.
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Recorded July 2, 2023, at OCON in Miami, Florida.