Plato's View on Life and How one Acquires Knowledge

Published: 2021-09-13 20:55:11
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Category: Philosophy

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Plato is a well-known, intellectual Athenian writer that was born into an aristocratic family. Due to his family's wealth, Plato was able to receive some of best education available to Athenians. When Plato was a student, he became infatuated with his Philosophy professor Socrates. Plato's most renowned work comes from his Five Dialogues. In two of Plato's dialogues, The Meno and Phaedo, he uses Socrates' character to illustrate his philosophical views.
The Meno is a discussion between Socrates and his companion, Meno, in which Meno is uncertain of "whether virtue can be taught, or whether it come rather by practice, or else is acquired by one's birth and nature, or in some other way" (58; Meno). Socrates comes to realize the he himself is unclear on whether or not virtue can be taught so he wants them to try and search for the answer together. Meno then states "How will you aim to search for something you do not know at all?" (70; Meno). At this point in the dialogue, Socrates brings up a theory that he once "heard wise men [priests] and women [priestesses]" discuss a theory that "the human soul is immortal; at times it comes to an end, which they call dying, at times it is reborn, but it is never destroyed, and one must therefore live one's life as piously as possible" (71; Meno). Socrates goes on to tell Meno that he does have faith in this theory of recollection so "it is in no way surprising that it [human soul] can recollect the things it knew before, both about virtue and other things" (71; Meno)

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