Recollection and Experience

Philosophical Review 106 (2):270 (1995)
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Who were the true forerunners of the seventeenth-century theorists of innate ideas? Credit should go, not to Plato, despite the common label Platonist, but to the Stoics—or so this challenging new study claims. Plato’s celebrated doctrine of knowledge as recollection differed from these others’ theories not merely in its extravagant postulate of a prenatal knowing state but in many hitherto unrecognized ways, Scott argues. Among those who shared the belief that all men are endowed at birth with considerable epistemological resources, Plato alone is a pessimist both about how few of us make any use of these—only those who make philosophical progress—and about the difficulty of unearthing these resources. Contrary to a prevalent view, Scott holds that Plato invokes recollection to explain not “ordinary learning,” the acquisition or application of everyday concepts such as equality or beauty, but “higher learning”—the province of the philosopher.



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Recollection and self-understanding in the Phaedo1.I. N. Robins - 1997 - Classical Quarterly 47 (02):438-.
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