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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 II

Afterword to Part II

(p.253) Afterword to Part II
Augustine and Academic Skepticism

Blake D. Dutton

Cornell University Press

This afterword summarizes the main points of Augustine of Hippo's strategy for vindicating the possibility of knowledge against the Academics' denial of that possibility. Augustine puts forward a number of truths in each of the divisions of philosophy—physics, ethics, and dialectic—that he claims to know and whose apprehensibility he believes the Academics cannot plausibly deny. These apprehensible truths of philosophy fall into the following four classes: tautological truths, mathematical truths, dialectical truths, and presentational truths. Augustine elsewhere identifies and explores a fifth class of truths that he claims to know and whose apprehensibility he believes the Academics cannot plausibly deny: first-person truths. This afterword concludes by suggesting that any fair assessment of Augustine's critique of Academic skepticism must measure its success, at least in part, in relation to his concerns with skepticism.

Keywords:   first-person truths, Augustine of Hippo, possibility of knowledge, Academics, apprehensible truths, tautological truths, mathematical truths, dialectical truths, presentational truths, Academic skepticism

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