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Lecture

PHL200Y1 Lecture Notes - Circular Reasoning, Episteme, Cebes


Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHL200Y1
Professor
Lloyd Gerson

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Phaedo Lecture #2, October 17th 2011
recollection argument: 2 impediments to appreciate the argument ;;
-1. sensible (available to 5 senses) equals– 2. inclination to view equality as a concept or
universal
1. equality with respect to another, property of being equal, quality needs a certain amount of
'stuff' to be equal: that same stuff equality represents unequal, same stuff could manifest
opposites 1m : 1m – equal, 1m – 2m equal, logos of something: could be the same as something
else, deficient in equality; compromised being
2. equality as a concept/universal : difference between concepts/universals and forms –
concepts/universal are in your head, rules someone follows, ways of classifying in terms of
sameness and difference, leaves out other aspects, concept of equality: what we imply when we
talk about sticks and stones, concepts leaving out aspects only addresses what is relevant,
-form not a concept, things are inferior to the form, they have affect on the world (concepts
don't change/alter reality), explanation >whole point, instrumental casual role in explaining,
equality explains how/why things are equal...universally out of the argument, cant judge thing
to be in inferior to equality without knowing what equality is, we need to have known equality
prior to embodiment to know if things are equal .: we must have existed with equality prior to
embodiment, therefore soul lives without the body
Infinity argument: if want to show ability, best way is to do it, we couldn't know equality
unless we were made of the same things as equality, immutable, eternal, unchanging,
immaterial as equality is
-unchanging, immaterial, eternal : indestructible (if unchangeable) – we must be immaterial to
know the forms, which are also immaterial, eternal, indestructible, are we ourselves
indestructible? - point of the argument to show our soul is athanatos
-you need to be made of the same thing as immaterial to know them, why do we need to be
made of the same stuff?
-something that is material, cant know forms – Plato believes the soul is immaterial and we are
our souls
-how can you show that something material can know immaterial?
-what would Plato say? What he thinks knowledge is? So we can compare if it is same now?
-not the same, knowing equality couldn't be done by a computer. What a computer does, is
represent facts/states of affairs in digital format, digital representation – Platonic point: knowing
equality is not a case of representation, representing something is possible, cognition is non-
representational, in order
-why does he want to say representations of equality do not lead to knowledge of equality? - in
order to represent something, we have to refer to it and see it, or touch/feel it, to represent
equality you have to somehow see equality, knowledge as seeing, analogous to visual seeing,
mental seeing (intuition)
-seeing : we do it all the time...understanding, not just with your two eyes but understanding is
mental seeing ... 1,1,2,3 (sum of the previous 2)
-representation if mental seeing underlies this, can occur in something that is also immaterial
a supposed seeing of equality, that was not done by immaterial could only be a representation of
it
-no physical state could be the knowledge : computer software arrangements can be given
different meanings, can interpret , computer can only represent, can be nothing but this
representation : that machine could represent the opposite as well
– Plato's: only immaterial could know equality by seeing it mentally, knowing as seeing
mentally and only beings that can do this can know equality
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