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Harald Thorsrud, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces
Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=HR-50262-06
Radical and Mitigated Skepticism in Cicero’s Academica (Book Section)
Title: Radical and Mitigated Skepticism in Cicero’s Academica
Author: Harald Thorsrud
Editor: Walter Nicgorski
Abstract: The early Academics, notoriously, counseled total epokhê. We must suspend judgment with regard to matters on which we cannot be certain. It is rash to do otherwise; the sage will never have mere opinions. Some later Academics, also notoriously, counseled that a modest and cautious acceptance of what seems most reasonable or probable is the right course of action; the sage will on occasion opine. A good deal of controversy persists regarding the proper interpretation of these alternatives. Although the scholarly disputes have significantly advanced our understanding of the possible and plausible if not actual positions maintained by the Academics, I believe one crucial fact has not received adequate attention: our most important source for these positions, Cicero, appears to be committed to both in the Academica.
I argue that in the Academica, Cicero does not see these alternatives as contradictory. Rather, despite some appearances to the contrary, he maintains a consistently fallibilist view of Academic methodology.
Primary URL: http://http://www.worldcat.org/title/ciceros-practical-philosophy/oclc/787852175&referer=brief_results
Secondary URL: http://http://undpress.nd.edu/books/P01541
Publisher: Notre Dame University Press
Book Title: Cicero's Practical Philosophy