Memory's Consolation: Right Remembrance in Boethius
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The impetus for my thesis is the psychological predicament injustice creates, namely, the paralyzing effect of suffering. As presented in Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy, I examine how the resolution to this problem hinges upon memory as it actively works to reorder our conception of seemingly arbitrary circumstances. Over the course of the Consolation, the process of remembering rightly moves Boethius from a state of despairing passion toward reasoned consolation, even as his outward condition remains essentially the same. Without denying the reality of suffering, right remembrance in Boethius offers a framework for honest reflection in reconciling the good with the painful. Right remembrance thus becomes not only a theoretical means of achieving peace and happiness for Boethius alone, but also more poignantly functions as a practical, timeless means of living well amidst troubled circumstances.