What, then, is to hinder me from accepting what
seems to me to be probable, while rejecting what
seems to be improbable, and from shunning the
presumption of dogmatism, while keeping clear of
that recklessness of assertion which is as far as
possible removed from true wisdom? And as to the
fact that our school argues against everything, that
is only because we could not get a clear view of
what is “probable,” unless a comparative estimate
were made of all the arguments on both sides.
But this subject has been, I think, quite fully set
forth in my “Academics.” And although, my dear
Cicero, you are a student of that most ancient and
celebrated school of philosophy, with Cratippus as
your master—and he deserves to be classed with the
founders of that illustrious sect1
—still I wish our
school, which is closely related to yours, not to be
unknown to you.
Let us now proceed to the task in hand.