Classical Quarterly 37 (2):346-366 (1987)

Abstract
The belief in innate knowledge has a history almost as long as that of philosophy itself. In our own century it has been propounded in a linguistic context by Chomsky, who sees himself as the heir to a tradition including such philosophers as Descartes, the Cambridge Platonists and Leibniz. But the ancestor of all these is, of course, Plato's theory of recollection or anamnesis. This stands out as unique among all other innatist theses not simply because it was the first, but also because it is in some respects the strangest: Plato proposed not just a theory of innate knowledge, but of forgotten knowledge, and this, of course, goes hand in hand with his interest in the pre-existence of the soul. But my concern here is with another difference that makes Plato's theory unique, though it is not as clear as the previous one: in fact it has been for the most part over-looked by commentators and scholars. I wish to argue that while other theories of innate knowledge or ideas hold that much of what is innate in us is realized automatically and with ease, be it knowledge of moral principles, the idea of cause and effect or linguistic competence, anamnesis is concerned only with the attainment of hard philosophical knowledge, which most of us never reach.
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DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s000983880003055x
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References found in this work BETA

Plato's Theory of Knowledge.R. S. - 1935 - Journal of Philosophy 32 (19):520-522.
Plato’s Moral Theory: The Early and Middle Dialogues.Christopher Gill - 1977 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 99:176-176.
Meno's Paradox and Socrates as a Teacher.Alexander Nehamas - 1985 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 3:1-30.
Plato on the Grammar of Perceiving.M. F. Burnyeat - 1976 - Classical Quarterly 26 (01):29-.
"Anamnesis" in the "Meno".Gregory Vlastos - 1965 - Dialogue 4 (2):143.

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Citations of this work BETA

Plato and the Norms of Thought.R. Woolf - 2013 - Mind 122 (485):171-216.
Μανια and Αληθεια in Plato's Phaedrvs.Fábio Serranito - 2020 - Classical Quarterly 70 (1):101-118.
Commentary on Gentzler 1.Predrag Cicovacki - 1994 - Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy 10 (1):296-311.
Amor, lenguaje y olvido. Sobre memoria y desmemoria en los diálogos de Platón.Felipe Ledesma - 2016 - Logos. Anales Del Seminario de Metafísica [Universidad Complutense de Madrid, España] 49:91-109.

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