Augustine and Skepticism

Augustine and Skepticism
Ronald R. Espenschied
PHI/105 - Introduction to Philosophy
April 30, 2014
Randall Knighton

Augustine and Skepticism
      Skepticism is something that is part of every individual to some extent.   Everyone has reasons to be skeptical but there are really on two types of skeptics.   The first type are total skeptics, they believe “nothing can be known” (Moore & Bruder, 2011, "Chapter 5, Augustine and Skepticism").   The second type are considered modified skeptics and it is their belief “that at least some things are known” (Moore & Bruder, 2011, "Chapter 5, Augustine and Skepticism").   St. Augustine fell into the second type and developed three refutations to total skepticism.
      The first of these refutations is what is called the principle of non-contradiction which basically means that two different statements about the same thing means that only one of them can be true.   If one of them is proven to be true by a fallacy in the other then a person can not be skeptical about the true statement.   While this is a strong argument one has to ask the question can anything be proven to be an absolute truth.   Some things can be proven with science but as science continues to advance some of those proofs are actually disproved.
      The next refutation is that by being skeptical proves at least one instance that a person can not be skeptical about.   That is the fact that “they are” or else they would not be able to be skeptical.   This theory relies heavily on the previous theory because a person can not be skeptical about who they are if they accept the fact that they are able to be skeptical.   So they have to acknowledge at least one proof.
      The final refutation is that of “sense perception ant that it itself lends to a basic kind of knowledge” (Moore & Bruder, "Chapter 5, Augustine and Skepticism,"  2011).   In other words what we see, feel, touch, and smell can not be disputed by skepticism.   The thing with this is that all the...