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Augustinian Studies

Volume 51, Issue 2, 2020

Amanda C. Knight
Pages 197-213

The Shattered Soul
Augustine on Psychological Number, Order, and Weight

This article argues that Augustine’s understanding of the internal dynamics of number, order, and weight as they pertain to corporeal creatures supplies the basis for an analogy which characterizes the process of the soul’s reformation. In other words, Augustine understands the soul’s simplicity in an analogous manner to the simplicity of corporeal creatures, and the simplicity of corporeal creatures is determined by the relations between number, order, and weight. This analogy shows that Augustine conceives of the soul as a composite entity with different loves as its constituent parts. In the process of reformation, the soul acquires an ordered disposition as those loves become more like one another. By virtue of this ordered disposition, the soul also acquires a greater degree of integration or number because the likeness of weight among its constituent parts allows the soul to move as a unity toward God as its final end.

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