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Augustine's Critique of Skepticism

A Study of "Contra Academicos</I>


Augustine J. Curley

Augustine of Hippo (354-430) composed his Contra Academicos while preparing for the baptism he would receive at the hands of Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, in 387. In it he critiques the arguments of the Academic philosophers, who taught that nothing could be known. This study argues that Augustine's critique is based not so much on the epistemological aspects of skepticism, which has been the view of most modern studies of the dialogue, but rather on the effect that skepticism can have on society.