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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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Augustine and the Academics

Augustine and the Academics

(p.9) Chapter 1 Augustine and the Academics
Augustine and Academic Skepticism

Blake D. Dutton

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines Augustine of Hippo's critique of Academic skepticism by drawing on his narrative of the history of the Academy and the broader development of Platonism. It first considers how reading Cicero's book Hortensius led Augustine to the path of philosophy. It then analyzes the nature and degree of Augustine's Academic sympathies during the post-Manichean period, with particular emphasis on two passages in which he discusses his post-Manichean period: the first is from The Advantage of Belief and the second is from Confessions. It also discusses Augustine's decision to make a lifelong commitment to Catholic Christianity with the expectation that a vision of truth was just on the horizon. Finally, it provides a brief historical background of Academic skepticism as a movement before exploring Augustine's attempt to lay the arguments of the Academics to rest.

Keywords:   philosophy, Augustine of Hippo, Academic skepticism, Academy, Platonism, Cicero, Hortensius, The Advantage of Belief, Christianity, Academics

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