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9. Plato anamnesis.docx

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Philosophy 1020
John Thorp

Part II Epistemology LECTURE NINE: PLATO: Anamnesis A. Epistemology: some general points  Episteme= knowledge  Logos=  Sample Issues… o What is the difference between knowledge and belief? o Can we ever be utterly, 100%, certain that something is true? o What makes memory images memory images? o What makes a sentence true (or false)? o What is the status of scientific laws? How certain are they? o Given that all experience is private (remember Sarah and the GOS!), how do we achieve public knowledge? o Does the world out there resemble my impressions of it? B. Plato and anamnesis 0. Historical Matters a) The great trio: Socrates(469- 399 BCPlato(429-347 BCEAristotle(384-322 BCE)  Socrates o “Barefoot in Athens” (walked around Athens barefoot) o Questioner: ask questions to his students o Conversations; did not write anything o Tried for (charged) “importing new gods” and “corrupting the youth”; executed in 399 BCE  Plato o Began by writing down the remembered conversations of Socrates (for of Plato’s writing was dialogue) o Fine Greek Stylist o Founded a school called “The Academy” (hence Academic) o Theory of Forms o Socratic Question: in Plato’s dialogue the main speaker is (almost) always Socrates  Aristotle o Great interest in all of natural science, especially biology o Hugely diverse interest, foundational in many disciplines o Somewhat the antithesis of Plato (rejecting) o Founded a rival school, the Lyceum (high school) b) The "Socratic Question" 1. The puzzle about abstract ideas a) Equal sticks o Where do abstract ideas come from? o Ex. Have an idea of absolute perfect equality… but where does it come from? b) Triangle o Any triangle I see will I have certain measurements or type
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