Augustine Research Paper

547 Words2 Pages

Education was an integral part of Augustine's life. Without it, Augustine would never have become so erudite. Augustine's great success as a rhetorician was a result of his education. Without education, Augustine would not have achieved such great success or become so incredibly erudite. However, despite Augustine's great success, he is conflicted by his educational experience and the values he learned. Essentially, despite Augustine’s great intellect, he remains conflicted about his educational experience because it was training him to achieve success rather than guiding his soul towards God. One reason why Augustine remains conflicted about his education is that it was aimed toward achievement of success. In school, Augustine was taught …show more content…

For instance, Augustine addresses the concept of being forced to learn versus having the will to learn. He mentions how easy it was for him to learn Latin, which he learned without being forced by punishment, than to learn Greek, which he was forced to do. Augustine states “I learnt Latin without the threat of punishment from anyone forcing me to learn it.” (Confessions 1.23). He further explains the result of learning in such a way when he concludes “this experience sufficiently illuminates the truth that free curiosity has greater power to stimulate learning than rigorous coercion.” (Confessions 1.23). These examples depict some of Augustine's views on education and the values of learning. Essentially, he argues that if one is forced to learn something, they will learn it much more slowly than by having the will to learn it. Ideally, coercion should not be needed as a reason to learn because a student should have the motivation to do so. However, despite the concept of having the will to learn versus being forced to learn, Augustine concedes that without some method of order, the curiosity to learn would not be directed. In this instance, Augustine turns his attention toward the one he reveres the most: God. Augustine “the free-ranging flux of curiosity is channeled by discipline under your laws” (Confessions 1.23). “Let me, my God, say something about the intelligence which was your gift to me [that] I wasted on follies” (Confessions

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