Tamer Nawar
University of Groningen
In his Contra Academicos, Augustine offers one of the most detailed responses to scepticism to have come down to us from antiquity. In this paper, I examine Augustine’s defence of the existence of infallible knowledge in Contra Academicos 3. I challenge a number of established views (including those of Myles Burnyeat, Gareth Matthews, and Christopher Kirwan) concerning the nature and merit of Augustine’s defence of knowledge and propose a new understanding of Augustine’s response to scepticism (including his semantic response to external world scepticism) and several important elements of Augustine’s thought concerning signification, cognition, and object-directed thought. I argue that once we properly understand Augustine’s views about these issues, his arguments in defence of knowledge are more interesting and more successful than usually thought.
Keywords Augustine  Academic Skepticism  Epistemology  Philosophy of Language: Semantics  Mathematics  Infallible Knowledge  Cognition  Object-Directed Thought  Stoics  Neoplatonists
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 68,944
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Elusive Knowledge.David K. Lewis - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):549 – 567.
On Denoting.Bertrand Russell - 2005 - Mind 114 (456):873 - 887.
On Referring.Peter F. Strawson - 1950 - Mind 59 (235):320-344.
On Denoting.Bertrand Russell - 1906 - Philosophical Review 15:346.
Elusive Knowledge.David Lewis - 1999 - In Keith DeRose & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Skepticism: A Contemporary Reader. Oup Usa.

View all 19 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Medieval Epistemology: Augustine, Aquinas, and Ockham.Charles Bolyard - 2019 - In Stephen Hetherington (ed.), Epistemology: The Key Thinkers. London, UK: pp. 99-123.
Augustine, Epicurus, and External World Skepticism.Charles Bolyard - 2006 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 44 (2):157-168.
Augustine on Error and Knowing That One Does Not Know.Charles Bolyard - 2018 - In Andreas Speer & Maxime Mauriège (eds.), Irrtum – Error – Erreur (Miscellanea Mediaevalia Band 40). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. pp. 3-18.
Augustine’s Transformation of the Free Will Defence.Rowan A. Greer - 1996 - Faith and Philosophy 13 (4):471-486.
St. Augustine's Theory of Knowledge.Patrick Corrigan - 1984 - Review of Metaphysics 37 (3):616-618.
Augustine.Gareth B. Matthews - 2008 - Wiley-Blackwell.
Augustine.Gareth B. Matthews - 2005 - Wiley-Blackwell.
Augustine.Gareth B. Matthews - 2011 - In H. Lagerlund (ed.), Philosophical Review. Springer. pp. 125--131.
The "de Ordine" of St. Augustine.Michael Patrick Foley - 1999 - Dissertation, Boston College


Added to PP index

Total views
118 ( #97,711 of 2,498,161 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
14 ( #56,027 of 2,498,161 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes