The Theory of Recollection

Plato's doctrine from the Meno which he thinks explains how we come by knowledge.

At 81c-d Socrates poses the hypothesis (he claims to get it from certain religious experts) that the soul is immortal and therefore will already have knowledge of everything; thus what we think of as learning is actually just remembering or 'recollecting' (anamnesis) what the soul already knows from its previous immortal lives.

This doctrine is thought by some scholars to mark the emergence of Plato's own philosophical views which, they claim, differ from the views of Socrates expressed in earlier dialogues.