Plato

Plato on Knowledge

  1. The Republic and the Theory of Ideas:

    1. Justice in the State
      1. Producers
      2. Warriors
      3. Rulers
    2. Education in the State:

      1. Sense-Lovers - (producers and warriors)

        1. Focus on the senses
        2. Particulars - the objects of the senses

    3. Truth Lovers - (Rulers/Philosophers)

      1. Focus on Ideas (eidos)
      2. They grasp the Universals - the one that stands over the many (the cause of the particular's appearance)

    4. Plato’s Ontology:

      1. Being - that which exists without qualification
      2. Non-Being - the absence of existence
      3. Becoming - that which exists with qualification (i.e., subject to change)

    5. The Divided Line: Plato's Picture of What can be Known

      1. The World of Being - Reason
      2. The World of Numbers - Intelligence
      3. The Physical World - Opinion
      4. Images of the Physical World - Imagination

    6. Allegory of the Cave

  2. The Theory of Recollection from the Meno

    1. Meno's Paradox:

      1. Either we already have knowledge (and therefore don‘t need to look for it)

        or

      2. We don't have, nor can we look for, knowledge (because we don’t know what we’re looking for)

    2. Socrates' Solution: the immortal soul hypothesis

      P1) If the soul is immortal, it has always existed.
      P2) If the soul has always existed, there is nothing which the soul would not be acquainted with.
      Conclusion) Therefore, if the soul is immortal, then it knows all things (we don’t learn, we recollection).

    3. Proof for the theory of Recollection - The Slave Boy:

      1. Begins confident in his knowledge (like the Athenians, like Meno)
      2. Cross-examination demonstrates he only has opinion, not knowledge (aporia - Socrates' Mission to Athens)
      3. After recognizing his ignorance he is prepared for the process of recollection


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