Academica eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 347 pages of information about Academica.

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Besides the actual fragments of the second edition, many indications of its contents are preserved in the work of Augustine entitled Contra Academicos, which, though written in support of dogmatic opinions, imitated throughout the second edition of the Academica of Cic.  No writings of the Classical period had so great an influence on the culture and opinions of Augustine as the Academica and the lost Hortensius.  I give, partly from Krische, the scattered indications of the contents of the former which are to be gathered from the bishop’s works.  In Aug. Contr.  Ac. II. 14, 15, we have what appears to be a summary of the lost part of Book I. to the following effect.  The New Academy must not be regarded as having revolted against the Old, all that it did was to discuss that new doctrine of [Greek:  katalepsis] advanced by Zeno.  The doctrine of [Greek:  akatalepsia] though present to the minds of the ancients had never taken distinct shape, because it had met with no opposition.  The Old Academy was rather enriched than attacked by the New.  Antiochus, in adopting Stoicism under the name of the Old Academy, made it appear that there was a strife between it and the New.  With Antiochus the historical exposition of Cic. must have ended.  From this portion of the first book, Aug. derived his opinion (Contra.  Ac. II. 1) that New Academicism was excusable from the necessities of the age in which it appeared.  Indications of Book II. in Aug. are scarce, but to it I refer Contra.  Ac. I. 7 placuit Ciceroni nostro beatum esse qui verum investigat etiam si ad eius inventionem non valeat pervenire, also ibid. III. 10 illis (Academicis) placuit esse posse hominem sapientem, et tamen in hominem scientiam cadere non posse.  These I refer to Cicero’s development of the probabile in Book II., although I ought to say that Krische, p. 65, maintains that the substance of Catulus’ exposition in the Ac.  Priora transferred to Book IV. of the Ac.  Posteriora.  As this would leave very meagre material for Book II., nothing indeed excepting the provisional proof of the deceptiveness of the senses, I cannot accede to his arrangement; mine, I may remark, involves a much smaller departure from the first edition.  Allusions in Aug. to the attack on the senses by Cic. in Book II. are difficult to fix, as they apply equally well to the later attack in Book IV.  As to Books III. and IV., I do not think it necessary here to prove from Aug. the points of agreement between them and the Lucullus, which will find a better place in my notes on the latter, but merely give the divergences which appear from other sources.  These are the translation of [Greek:  sophismata] by cavillationes in Luc. 75 (Seneca Ep. III.), and the insertion in 118 of essentia as a translation of [Greek:  ousia].


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Academica from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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