In the Theaetetus, Plato has Socrates propose that thinking is a discussion the soul has with itself. But Plato never wrote a philosophical work in the form of an inner dialogue. Augustine's Soliloquies is the first such work. Writing in this form, Augustine is inspired to treat what can be expressed by “I exist” as a philosophically significant piece of knowledge and to entertain Berkeleyan idealism as a serious hypothesis. He also presents two philosophical perplexities concerning prayer, which he leaves unresolved. Anselm's Proslogion, which is both a prayer and an inner dialogue, offers a robust response to perplexities of the sort that troubled Augustine.
Skip Nav Destination
Gareth B. Matthews; Inner Dialogue in Augustine and Anselm. Poetics Today 1 June 2007; 28 (2): 283–302. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-2006-023
Download citation file: