Plato and Aristotle
4. Anamnésis and Knowledge
We begin the outline of Plato’s thinking with the issue of recollection, anamnesis, which is a key concept of his theory of knowledge. For the first time we meet anamnésis in Plato in his dialogue Meno. The starting point for the clarification of recollection is the situation of Aporia to which Socrates introduces Meno, since he cannot answer the question, what is efficiency? Aporia has an important meaning here. This is not a sign of Socrates’s sophistic superiority. To one who finds himself in aporiahis ignorance becomes apparent, or it turns out that their opinion (doxa) was only seemingly correct. Therefore the uncovering of contradictions in our thinking is of particular importance for it shows opinions as preju ← 29 | 30 → dices that prevent us from searching for what is true and correct. Or in other words, if our opinion affirms what we know is true, we do not need to search and consider whether it is really so. Uncovering contradictions in opinions can relieve us from the negative effects of the opinion.
In the case of Meno the unveiling of contradictions in his attitudes, developed into the loss of speech. For in his discovered ignorance he is made as a fossil and this is why in a famous part of the dialogue he compares Socrates to a sea ray. For that fish fossilises its victims as Socrates causes silence and fossilisation uncovering the reputed knowledge. Meno says:
“Indeed, if a joke is in order, you...
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