Recollection In Meno

Decent Essays
In Meno, Plato introduces the theory that knowledge comes by recollection. Through the character of Socrates, he presents this idea, and his argument deserves some clarification and explanation.

Plato draws a sharp distinction between knowledge, which is certain, and mere opinion, which is not certain. Opinions derive from the shifting world of sensation; knowledge derives from the world of timeless forms, or essences. The Platonic doctrine of recollection is the idea that we are born possessing all knowledge and our realisation of that knowledge is contingent on our discovery of it. Whether the doctrine should be taken literally or not is a subject of continuous debate. The doctrine implies that nothing is ever learned from scratch - rather,
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This is the idea that knowledge requires experiencing something for yourself. For example, Plato thinks that in order to know the way to Larissa it is necessary to have travelled the route yourself. Similarly, he thinks, in order to know a philosophical truth you must have worked through the issue yourself, so that you can grasp how this truth connects with other things that you believe. This notion implies that knowledge is not something that we can absorb, unthinkingly, from people around us; from a certain point of view, it is not incorrect.

Furthermore, Socrates sees knowledge to be better than true opinion, because true opinion can escape the mind and thus isn’t worth much — at least until one ties it down by giving an account of the reason why it matters or why it is true. Therefore, justified true belief is knowledge, because it arises out of recollection. As such, it can be said that Plato believes that knowledge is prized more than correct opinion, and that knowledge differs from correct opinion in being tied down.

As well as that, Meno proposes an idea that goodness could be taught if it was knowledge - as long as there are teachers to do so. There are none — and therefore, virtue cannot be taught and it cannot be knowledge — yet it is a good thing. In conclusion, the dispute between Meno and Socrates boils down to the agreement that correct guidance is a result of knowledge and true belief, and is as such both useful and
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