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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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Afterword to Part I

Afterword to Part I

(p.139) Afterword to Part I
Augustine and Academic Skepticism

Blake D. Dutton

Cornell University Press

This afterword summarizes the main points of Augustine of Hippo's critique of Academic skepticism by focusing on four charges that he levels against it: first, that the Academics are neither happy nor wise in their philosophical practice; second, that the Academics are unable to appeal to what is persuasive as a basis of action; third, that the Academics' philosophical inquiry is fruitless because it rejects belief on authority; and fourth, that the Academics' philosophical practice implicates its practitioners in the error of non-assent with respect to the goals of discovering truth and attaining happiness. This afterword concludes with some general observations concerning the success of this portion of Augustine's critique, with particular emphasis on the most important question he could ask about Academic skepticism: whether Academic skepticism orients its practitioners to the wisdom that makes us happy.

Keywords:   happiness, Augustine of Hippo, Academic skepticism, Academics, philosophical inquiry, belief on authority, error of non-assent, truth

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