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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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Socrates, the Academics, and the Good Life

Socrates, the Academics, and the Good Life

Chapter:
(p.33) Chapter 2 Socrates, the Academics, and the Good Life
Source:
Augustine and Academic Skepticism
Author(s):

Blake D. Dutton

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801452932.003.0003

This chapter examines the ideal of the good life that animated Socrates and the extent to which it can be said to have also animated the Academics. It begins with a passage from Apology in which Socrates, after having just been convicted of the charges leveled against him by Meletus, Anytus, and Lycon, entertains the possibility of exile as a punishment. It then considers why Socrates counted himself as having led a good life before discussing how the Academics engendered a great deal of animus as a consequence of their philosophical practice. It also explores the Socratic character of Academic skepticism and concludes by highlighting three differences between Socrates and his Academic heirs. First, the inquiry in which Socrates engaged was primarily ethical in focus. Second, Socrates's philosophical conversations were by and large conducted with nonphilosophers. Third, Socrates did not formulate any general arguments against the possibility of knowledge.

Keywords:   good life, Socrates, Academics, Apology, exile, Academic skepticism, knowledge

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