Aristotle Vs. Plato Learning Is Recollection Essay

651 Words 3 Pages
What alternative does Aristotle offer to Plato’s claim that learning is recollection? Where would Aristotle locate the mistake in Plato’s argument in The Phaedo?

In his dialogues The Phaedo and Meno, Plato, through the form of Socrates, puts forth the idea that all learning is recollection. In The Phaedo, to prove that the soul is immortal, Socrates asserts the view that all learning is recollection and we simply need to be reminded of facts that our immortal souls are aware of. In Meno, Socrates attempts to show the truth of this belief by doing complex geometry with a nearby slave boy. Socrates leads the boy through a series of questions, and he answers correctly lending to Socrates’ idea about learning. His brightest pupil, Aristotle,
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For instance, a carpenter may know that when wood gets wet it becomes warped, but a man of art knows the chemistry behind such a change. Therefore, a man of art is to be seen as wiser, because not only do they know what happens, they know why things happen. Also, the man of art can teach, which men regard as the highest form of wisdom, while men of experience cannot. In short, he sees wisdom as the highest form of knowledge, and it’s only attainable by experience. A man of experience is wiser than the common man, and a man of art is wiser than men of experience.
Aristotle goes on to talk about how at first all the arts were directed at the necessities of life, but as time passed some arts became aimed at higher goals. The people who aimed for these higher goals looked to the first causes and principles of things. Because they were looking to the highest causes they are regarded as the most-wise. Aristotle says, “…All men what is called wisdom to deal with the first causes and principles of things. ” This is why we see men of art as the wisest, because they know about the causes of things as well as the things themselves. They combine both theoretical knowledge and experience.
     I believe that Aristotle would place the problem in Plato’s recollection theory in the immortality of the soul. Plato argued that souls come into this world aware of the forms, and therefore they know everything before

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