To Plato there exists a separate realm where abstract concepts such as beauty, justice, mathematical principles, even the essence of everyday objects exist perfectly and unchanging. We catch glimpses of these perfect forms as shadows in our world, however they are only imperfect examples of a more perfect form existing beyond our senses.
From Innate Ideas to a Grasp of the Forms 1. But here we immediately have a question—how can we ever come to know the Forms? After all, they constitute a completely different world—a nonmaterial world, and as such, not in space, not in time—and yet here are we on earth, limited by our bodies and our senses.
How are we ever to come in contact with them? Well of course, Plato answers, by thought. But the question is: Well the answer to this we have already actually touched on last week.
We must have lived in the World of Forms in a preceding life. But in any event, our souls knew all the Forms, and therefore all the laws, and therefore was actually omniscient prior to its birth in this world.
Put in modern terms, all that knowledge descended into the unconscious. The senses, the physical senses, are not means of getting new knowledge of reality. What then is their function?
Does Plato believe that if you took a young baby and gouged out his eyes and pierced his ears and generally mutilated his senses, he would then be able to go along merrily and still remember the Forms?
Plato says yes, we definitely need the senses in the early stages of knowledge. Not to teach us something new, however, but to serve as a stimulus—to jog our memories. The best analogy you can thing of the one I was taught when I was first taught Plato is imagine that twenty or thirty or forty years after you have left college, you come across an old faded yearbook with pictures of your classmates, and your grandson is busily jostling it back and forth, so you get only a fleeting glimpse of a faded photograph.
Because, we have in us all the basic truths and laws and concepts, and what we do is simply look in, find them, and proceed to deduce their consequences logically quite apart from any further sensory observation.
But now with Plato we have a fully worked out answer to the question that you asked several times before: Heraclitus and Parmenides and those early figures were rationalists, but if you had asked them that question, they had no answer.
Plato has an answer. His answer is, reason is capable of acquiring knowledge apart from the senses because we are born with innate ideas.
It becomes the epistemological theory that knowledge is acquirable solely by reasoning from innate concepts, and that sense perception is in principle dispensable except, of course, as a stimulus.
Proof of innate ideas Now what proof does Plato offer of innate ideas?
But we have it. Therefore, it must have been acquired from somewhere else. We must have got it from some means apart from the senses. We must have been born with it. It must be innate. For instance, Plato himself mentions the knowledge of perfection remember argument two last week.
And he gives us several other equivalent arguments. I will simply elicit them from him by judicious questioning.Plato’s Epistemology: From Innate Ideas to a Grasp of the Forms. 1. Learning as recollection but the essence of the whole Platonic philosophy.
And I don’t believe any course is ever given anywhere on Plato in which this story is not told, and so I want to take five minutes to tell it to you. An essay or paper on Plato and Aristotle Epistemology. In many ways, the theories of knowledge offered by Plato (Socrates) and Aristotle are quite similarity, but Plato believes there is only one reality behind all of the phenomena in the world, the realm of the Ideal Forms.
Aristotle, in. Aristoleian vs Platonic Philosophy of Epistomology Essay process of recollection and for Aristotle, human beings learn from the cognitive process of abstraction.
Best Philosophy Essays. Philosophy - Words Notes on chapter 2 pg Socrates: The First Moralist Socrates (c B.C) he was 70 years old when he died, his father was Sophroniscus, a sculptor, his mother Phaenarete, was a midwife.
Socrates was likely a stonemason and a sculptor before turning to philosophy. Plato and Aristotle were two of the most influential philosophers of ancient times.
However they disagreed on the true form of knowledge. Classical Wisdom Standoff: Epistemology of Plato and Aristotle (part 2) by Socrates on June 17, Am encouraging my intro to philosophy students to read this before their epistemology exam next week.
aristotle vs Plato on metaphysics The Opposing Views of Great Minds The word metaphysics is defined as The study or theory of reality; sometimes used more narrowly to refer to transcendent reality, that is, reality which lies beyond the physical world and cannot therefore be grasped by means of the senses.