The Stability of Knowledge

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Socrates’ official answer to Meno’s question about the value of knowledge, near the end of Plato’s Meno, is that knowledge is stable. I argue that both the answer and the question have been widely misunderstood. The question has been taken to be why knowing at a time is better than true belief at that time, and Socrates’ answer has been taken to point to the greater persistence of knowledge over time. I argue instead that, given the broader context of the question and answer in the Meno, together with what Plato has to say about stability elsewhere, Meno’s question is better understood as a more difficult question – and Socrates’ answer as a good solution to it. This also involves arguing that Socrates’ analogy to the statues of Daedalus is not intended as the simple illustration of Socrates’ official answer for which commentators have taken it.



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Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Plato: Complete Works.J. Cooper & D. S. Hutchinson - 1998 - Phronesis 43 (2):197-206.
Knowledge and True Belief in the Meno.Gail Fine - 2004 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 27:41-81.
Plato's Meno.R. S. Bluck - 1961 - Phronesis 6 (1):94-101.
Knowledge is Teachable.Joseph Bjelde - 2021 - Mind 130 (518):475-502.

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