Augustine’s De magistro: Scriptural Arguments and the Genre of Philosophy

Augustine’s De magistro has been of particular interest to those working on the philosophy of language, as can be seen most recently in Emmanuel Bermon’s Habilitationsschrift, published as La Signification et l’enseignement (Paris, 2007). The focus on the philosophy of language has, however, tended to occlude analysis of the argumentative value of Augustine’s quotation of Scripture. Augustine’s Thagaste period (c. 388-391) is a rich resource for pursuing the relationship between Augustine’s philosophical resources and his use of Scripture, as he exhibits a growing interest in and sophistication with Scripture in the years between his Cassiciacum retreat and his time as priest and bishop in Hippo.