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Introduction to the Study of the History of Epistemology



The text is structured in chronological and ideological order and presents nine basic types of the classical perception of the problem of knowledge through an analysis of the atomistic theory of perception, Platonism, Aristotle’s doctrine, scepticism, rationalism, sensualism, Kant’s theory, phenomenological-existential, pragmatic, and (post) analytical perceptions. The proposed work aspires to be an introduction (not a complete presentation, neither in the number of types, nor in a full interpretation) and a basis for the reader’s interpretations which is reflected in the structure of the text.
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Platonic Idealistic Approach


Keywords: idea, intuition, methexis, anamnesis, doxa

The Platonic idealistic theory represents a different approach to knowledge. Plato realised that all things in the material world are subject to change and therefore it is difficult to say anything about them that would not also be subject to change. What kind of knowledge is it if a true statement about a thing can be said and it will not be valid in a few minutes? Is it any knowledge at all? Therefore, the subject of knowledge should be entities, the nature of which does not change over time – eternal and unchanging objects.

When discussing the Platonic concept of knowledge, it needs to be said that the concept is evolving and Plato introduced it in several dialogues, particularly in a gnoseologically oriented dialogue, Theaetetus (145d7 – e7). In this dialogue (and in Republic, Meno as well), Plato tried to define knowledge as a justified opinion. However, in ← 39 | 40 → his dialogues, he understood the sources of knowledge differently. This is why Plato’s understanding of knowledge is best characterized by four allegories: the allegory of the divided line, the allegory of the chariot, the allegory of the cave, and the allegory of the sun.

In the allegory of the divided line (509d – 511e), Plato distinguishes between the visible and thinkable world. The subject of the visible is the material world and its representations which we conceive via our senses or through perceptions. The problem is that the...

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