The Paradox Of Inquiry And Theory Of Recollection

1074 Words Sep 26th, 2014 5 Pages
Is the paradox of inquiry solvable by adhering to the conditions that define it? I shall argue that Socrates’ theory of recollection is neither necessary nor sufficient for solving the paradox of inquiry. I will start by defining both the paradox of inquiry and the theory of recollection. I will move on to talk about the inherent gaps in the paradox of inquiry. From these flaws, I will prove how the theory of recollection is neither necessary nor sufficient for solving the paradox of inquiry. Finally, I will conclude with a proposed solution: the existence of a middle state of knowledge.
I will begin by defining the paradox of inquiry followed by the theory of recollection. Through Meno’s probing for an answer to whether virtue can be taught, he becomes exposed to the phenomena of the paradox of inquiry. Socrates explains this paradox to Meno through a series of steps: 1. One “cannot search for what he does not know.” 2. One “cannot search for what he knows” (Plato). After combining these conditions, inquiry is deemed impossible.
As a means for solving the paradox of inquiry, Socrates proposes the theory of recollection. The basic premise of this theory holds that “…[the soul] can recollect the things it knew before…what we call learning is recollection” (Plato). This theory works around the paradox by showing that a person can already implicitly know x without being able to explicitly express x. This leaves no room for inquiry in the process of changing implicit knowledge…
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