About this sample
About this sample
Words: 810 |
5 min read
Published: Mar 14, 2019
Words: 810|Pages: 2|5 min read
In Plato's dialogues "Meno" and "Phaedo," the concept of recollection plays a significant role in addressing questions about knowledge, learning, and the nature of the soul. While both dialogues involve Socratic discussions on this topic, they differ in their emphasis and approach. This essay aims to explore how the idea of recollection differs in "Meno" compared to "Phaedo."
In the dialogue "Meno," Plato introduces the idea of recollection as a response to Meno's question: "Can you tell me, Socrates, whether virtue is something that can be taught?" Socrates' response is not a straightforward explanation of virtue but rather an exploration of the nature of knowledge and learning.
Socrates begins by questioning an uneducated slave boy about geometry. Although the boy initially has no knowledge of geometry, Socrates guides him through a series of questions, helping the boy arrive at correct answers without being taught any specific geometrical theorems. Socrates argues that this process demonstrates that the boy must have known the answers all along, and the act of recollecting this knowledge through questioning is what leads to understanding.
In "Meno," recollection is presented as a form of innate knowledge that the soul possesses before birth. Socrates suggests that all learning is a process of recollecting what the soul already knows but has forgotten due to the distractions of the physical world. This view aligns with Plato's theory of the immortality of the soul and its preexistence in the world of Forms.
In contrast, "Phaedo" explores the idea of recollection in the context of the immortality of the soul and the philosophical journey toward wisdom. This dialogue takes place on the day of Socrates' execution, and the central theme is the immortality of the soul. Socrates argues that the soul is immortal and that it has existed before birth and will continue to exist after death.
While "Meno" focuses on the recollection of general knowledge, "Phaedo" extends the concept to the recollection of eternal truths and the nature of reality itself. Socrates argues that the soul, being immortal and connected to the realm of Forms, possesses knowledge of abstract concepts like justice, beauty, and equality. Through philosophical contemplation and dialectical reasoning, individuals can recollect and awaken this innate knowledge, gradually ascending towards wisdom.
In "Phaedo," recollection is not just about retrieving previously learned information but about reconnecting with the eternal truths that underlie the physical world. The pursuit of philosophy, according to Socrates, is a journey of the soul towards this recollection and understanding of the Forms.
The idea of recollection in Plato's "Meno" and "Phaedo" differs in terms of scope, purpose, context, and outcome. While "Meno" focuses on recollecting general knowledge to explain the acquisition of wisdom, "Phaedo" extends the concept to encompass the recollection of eternal truths and the soul's journey toward wisdom and immortality. Both dialogues, however, share the underlying belief in the existence of preexistent knowledge within the soul, emphasizing the significance of philosophical inquiry and the pursuit of truth.
Browse our vast selection of original essay samples, each expertly formatted and styled
Where do you want us to send this sample?
Be careful. This essay is not unique
This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before
Download this Sample
Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts
Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.
Please check your inbox.
We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!