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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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Platonism and the Apprehensible Truths of Philosophy

Platonism and the Apprehensible Truths of Philosophy

(p.195) Chapter 9 Platonism and the Apprehensible Truths of Philosophy
Augustine and Academic Skepticism

Blake D. Dutton

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines how Platonism figures in Augustine of Hippo's views on the apprehensible truths of philosophy. It first considers a passage from the monologue of Against the Academics in which Augustine declares the limits of the Academics' attack on apprehension and aligns himself with the Platonists in their identification of pure intellection as the means of apprehension. It then explores a question from Augustine's Eighty-Three Diverse Questions—Can Truth Be Perceived by the Bodily Senses?—and his response to it. It also discusses Augustine's schema of the ascent of mind to God and his notion of truths that are above and outside the mind, along with the the apprehensibility of tautological truths, mathematical truths, dialectical truths, and presentational truths. Finally, it looks at the “Insufficiency Problem,” a single problem concerned with the sufficiency of Augustine's Platonic commitments.

Keywords:   apprehensible truths, Platonism, Augustine of Hippo, Academics, apprehension, pure intellection, tautological truths, mathematical truths, dialectical truths, Insufficiency Problem

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