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Unformatted text preview: I. How I nqui ry is Possible So this is how inquiry is possible. You know what question you want to answer (and to which you don’t yet know the answer); you follow some appropriate procedure for answering questions of that type; and finally you come to know what you did not previously know, viz., the answer to that question. The argument for Meno’s Paradox is therefore flawed: it commits the fallacy of equivocation . But beyond it lies a deeper problem. And that is why Plato does not dismiss it out of hand. That is why in response to it he proposes his famous “Theory of Recollection.” I I. The Theory of Recollection A. Concedes that, in some sense, inquiry is impossible. What appears to be learning something new is really recollecting something already known. B. This is implausible for many kinds of inquiry. E.g., empirical inquiry: 1. Who is at the door? 2. How many leaves are on that tree? 3. Is the liquid in this beaker an acid? C. In these cases, there is a recognized method, a standard procedure, for arriving at the correct answer. So one can, indeed, come to know something one did not previously know. D. But what about answers to non-empirical questions? Here, there may not be a recognized method or a standard procedure for getting answers. And Socrates’ questions (“What is justice,” etc.) are questions of this type....
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- Spring '09
- E. Plato, recollection, geometrical theorem, Recollection A. Concedes