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Augustine and Academic SkepticismA Philosophical Study$
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Blake D. Dutton

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452932

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452932.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Augustine and Academic Skepticism

Blake D. Dutton

Cornell University Press

This book examines the critique of Academic skepticism fashioned by Augustine of Hippo in the fourth and fifth centuries. Although there is no evidence that he knew anything of the Pyrrhonian tradition, Augustine was intimately familiar with the Academic tradition from his reading of Cicero, who served as an important conduit through which Greek philosophy made its way into the Roman world. After some initial sympathy with this form of skepticism, Augustine came to view it as pernicious and sought to lay it to rest. His sustained attack on skepticism came in the form of Against the Academics. This book offers a philosophical response to the arguments of the Academics and those of Augustine. It explores Augustine's attempt to discredit Academic skepticism as a philosophical practice and to vindicate the possibility of knowledge against the Academic denial of that possibility.

Keywords:   knowledge, Academic skepticism, Augustine of Hippo, Cicero, Greek philosophy, Against the Academics, Academics

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