Plato's Theory of Recollection: Bogus or Brilliant?

Published: 2021-09-13 20:40:09
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Category: Philosophy

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"Plato's Theory of Recollection: Bogus or Brilliant?"

Can it be proven that the human soul is immortal? This is the question that Plato attempts to answer in his book, Phaedo, and it serves as the unifying theme of the work. This issue is significant because the author suggests that the knowledge that man possesses is not learned. Instead, it is innately present in human beings and is recalled once it is somehow triggered within us. Plato argues that knowledge is a reflection of all of the pure and true things that the soul experienced during the period of time in which the soul has no contact with the body. He refers to this concept as The Theory of Recollection. In order to accurately depict this theory as he sees it, Plato takes his reader on a journey back in time to the death of his beloved mentor, Socrates. Upon his death bed, Socrates answers questions posed about the soul and its immortality. The purpose of this paper is two-fold. It will, first, serve to elaborate Plato's (by means of Socrates) ideas on the soul in order for the reader to obtain a clearer understanding of The Theory of Recollection. Following this, a voice will be given to my own perspective in which I will attempt to disprove Plato's theory. In doing so, I will address the following: Plato's idea that the senses are flawed, the recollection of the so called "divine" things (knowledge) as it relates to the soul's immortality, and finally, the idea that all knowledge must be acquired through recollection.

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