what is knowledge

632 Words 3 Pages
Many philosophers have inquired about what is knowledge. Most believe that knowledge is attained by being taught, and not suppressed in our mind since birth. In Plato’s Meno, Socrates argues in favor of the pre existing knowledge, that knowledge is essentially suppressed, and is brought to light through questioning. The argument, which comes from this view of “knowledge”, is that if you know what it is you are inquiring about, you don’t need to inquire, because you already know. However, if you do not know what it is you are inquiring about, you are unable to inquire, because you do not know what you inquiring. One outcome about this view is Plato’s rejection of the claim that knowledge is derived from experience. However when you look at …show more content…
I believe that there are two views to consider when debating this issue. Firstly, there is the possibility that Socrates merely asked the right questions, bringing the knowledge that was suppressed in the boy’s mind out so he could solve the problems. This was the message that Plato was trying to convey. However, this would also mean the boy had already learned this information in another life. With this, it means that this would have been a problem in the other life, and if learning is not possible now, only recollection, where did he receive this information in the first place, as it would not have been possible in a previous life. The second view is how did the boy, who did not have any prior knowledge or geometry, recognize the proofs. You have to believe that the boy already had these answers in his mind or he could not have confidently said yes or no to a question. Also, that the boy says yes to correct answers because he sees that it is the obvious answer. It is easier to believe this when getting the correct answers requires only basic intelligence. An example to contradict this is the subject of chemistry for example. It involves skills that need to be taught by a teacher, as both require advanced processes to do correctly. Socrates may have been able to teach a slave boy basic geometric proofs using drawings in the sand, but the teaching of any other more complex would have required the passing on of knowledge that could not possibly have been “recalled” by