Plato's Theory Of Recollection

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The Meno is one of the books Plato have written. In this book, one of the big problem it address is the paradox of inquiry. It deal with how human acquire knowledge. The Idea is that if one already understand something or one already know the answer for the question, then one cannot gain more knowledge by asking it. For example, if you know one pulse one is equal to two, then there is no point in asking that question since one can’t gain any more knowledge. On the other hand, one do not know the answer to the question, then one will not recognize the answer when they find it. For example, if you don’t know the answer to what is the latest model of a car, then if you see one you would not be able to recognize the car you see is the answer to …show more content…
So the Theory suggest that when we are learning new thing, we are not actually learning, we are just remembering what we already know from our past life. Plato believe that we already have the answer in our soul, and that is why we are able to recognize the right answer. “As the soul is immortal, has been born often, and has seen all things here and in the underworld, there is nothing which it has not learned” - (Meno 81 d). I think a big factor of this theory was effected by the fact that Socrates never teaches but instead ask questions and let the people arrive at the answer themselves. Plato really respected Socrates and developed a lot of this idea from him “You now ask me if I can teach you, when I say there is no teaching but recollection to show me up at once as contradicting myself.” - (Meno, 82a). . In the book, Socrates questioned the slave boy to convince Meno of this idea. However I find this to a very bias questioning style, since Socrates was basically tell in the answer of each step to the boy and then asking him if it is true or not. The boy only ever answer yes and basic …show more content…
– Yes” (Meno, 82D). This is also bias in a way that the boy had basic understanding math. If he did this to a new born child or a child with no education, then this would not work. Therefore I find this proof to be really weak. This theory also seems to have two different idea. This first idea is a doctrine of recollection in which one knows in virtue of having learned before. The other is a doctrine of recollection in which one knows in virtue of having certain basic knowledge (always there) and then building from there. Both of these ideas can help solve the paradox but it is not perfect. The first proposal suggests that we are just remembering from our past life, and our past life is remembering from the life before that. This is fine until we realize there is still a problem on how did we get the knowledge in the first place. How did we gain knowledge during our first life? The first proposal seems to move us to an infinite regress of past lives in which we are to have learned before. This becomes every unsatisfactory since it basically pushes our current problem to past life. This theory also does not work with observational

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