Theory Of Recollection Essay, Research Paper
Plato has had a Theory of Recollection to explain our access of knowledge, that knowledge is from within, and not obtained through experience. The Theory of Recollection refers to the idea that recollection is like the soul, where it is maintained and never dying, therefore it constitutes the spiritual aspect of remembering. All the knowledge that one possesses is already within, one must stimulate themselves to bring this knowledge about. Knowledge can not be gained from experience, it is inside of us, our souls. Plato s theory of Recollection differs slightly from the sacred christian view of the Theory of recollection. In many ways, Plato s thoughts on Recollection are quite contradictory.
In the MENO Plato demonstrates his Theory of Recollection between the main characters Meno and Socrates. At first it is Socrates that mentions the idea of Recollection by answering meno that the soul is immortal, and that before it entered it s eartly body the soul understood all things. Now the soul has forgotten these things and must struggle to remember them. In the MENO Socrates helps support his idea, by getting any slave boy and asking him a simple geometry question. The boy finally answered the question, but he had no previous schooling, therefore the knowledge was from Recollection, and not learned. What appears to be learning is actually recollecting something that they already know. Although the slave boy s initial answer was wrong, Socrates claimed that he had taught nothing to the slave boy, and that the only reason why he got it right the second time was because he helped him recollect the answer.
Recollection in Christianity strays slightly from Plato s Theory of Recollection. In Christianity, Recollection means attention to the presence of god in the soul. Recollection in Christianity also includes the withdrawal of the mind from external and earthly affairs in order to attend to god and divine things. For all wishing to attain Christian perfection one must recollect their ascetical devotion and practice , without it it is difficult to make progress in virtue.
Plato s theory of recollection has many contradictions. There are a couple of things that Recollection has implausible answers from. What s his name? How much money you have? How old are you? These are all questions that are not supported by the idea of Recollection. In these questions it is quite apparent that one could obtain the answers to those questions , by knowing something one did not previously know.
Today s society does not believe in much of the Theory of Recollection. It would be hard to try and find a person that believes in the Theory of Recollection. To most people it would sound ridiculous, but during the time of MENO people actually believed in recollection, the main difference being the time era where philosophy ruled their day, and whereas science rules ours.