The Argument Of Recollection In Plato's Phaedo

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In this paper I will offer an analysis and evaluation of the Argument of Recollection (73a-76e) in Plato’s Phaedo, by which learning is just recollecting what your soul previously knew before its incarnation in the body. I will first provide the literary context of the Argument of Recollection. Secondly, I will offer a formulation of Plato’s argument. I will then contend that one of the key premise of the argument, namely, that you must have knowledge of Equality before birth to see that equal things fall short of perfect Equality, is false. I will rather argue that through our innate ability to reason, from sensory experience of equal things, we create the abstract concept of Equality in our minds. Finally, I will argue that the most promising…show more content…
To ground his belief in the immortality of the soul, he provides a variety of arguments. Dividing his argumentation in two main parts: 1. Firstly, he argues that souls exists before birth 2. Secondly, he argues that the soul continues after death This paper focuses on the first part, the soul is pre-natal. He does that through The Argument of Recollection (73a-76e). Although he initially hints to the argument he gave in the Meno for learning as recollection, by which if one is asked the right questions one gives the right answer, since truth lies inside oneself, and when we learn we are only remembering what our soul already knew before its incarnation in the body. However, in the Phaedo, Plato provides another argument for learning as recollection, which is the one I am going to focus on. The Argument of Recollection in a premise-conclusion form, runs as follows: 1. If X and Y are different and if one perceives X and thinks of Y, then one is recollecting Y (73c, 5-9) 2. If one recollects Y, then one must consider whether X is similar to Y and whether it falls short respect to its similarity to

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