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Origin of Concepts

Terms in this set (67)

▪️In Plato's early dialogue Meno, Socrates advances the view that all knowledge is innate, and is recalled from past lives
▪️Plato was puzzled by the problem of universals - the relationship of the concept and an individual instance
▪️Numbers are unchanging and eternal and everything in the world is temporary and fleeting
▪️Plato thought are souls were immortal and before being embodied apprehended the Forms
▪️We may have forgotten most of these Forms but they are innate in us
▪️By using reasoning we can gain a perfect understanding once again
1) Innate ideas are 'in' us, although we might not be aware of them - exactly like a forgotten memory is in us
2) We can realise these innate ideas through reason
3) Innate ideas provide timeless truths
▪️If all knowledge is innate, then we don't genuinely learn anything at all
▪️What we call learning is just a way of jogging our memories, if Plato is right
▪️Socrates uses one of Meno's slaves to illustrate his point
▪️By drawing geometric figures in the ground Socrates demonstrates that the slave is initially unaware of the length of side that must be used in order to double the area of a square with two-foot sides
▪️Without making any assertions, Socrates uses leading questions to get the boy to figure out how to double the area of the square
▪️Plato thought we have an innate faculty that recognises such truths as eternal and necessary
▪️This furnishes us with genuine knowledge
▪️By contrast, our understanding of empirical truths learned a posteriori lacks certainty