David Sedley
University College London
This paper is a critical re-examination of the argument in Plato's "Phaedo" for the thesis that all learning is recollection of prenatal knowledge. Plato's speaker Socrates concentrates on the case of 'equal sticks and stones', viewed as striving without complete success to resemble a Form, the Equal itself. The paper argues that (a) this is a rather special case, focused on geometry; (b) Plato is at pains to emphasize that the Form-particular relation need not be one of resemblance at all, a concession which he insists would not, if made, damage his theory of recollection; (c) even if resemblance is assumed to be the correct account of that relationship, the 'striving to be like' gloss is not an integral component of Plato's metaphysics.
Keywords Forms and Particulars
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9264.2006.00150.x
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References found in this work BETA

Platonic Causes.David Sedley - 1998 - Phronesis 43 (2):114-132.
Recollection and Experience.Lesley Brown & Dominic Scott - 1995 - Philosophical Review 106 (2):270.
Likeness and Likenesses in the Parmenides.Malcolm Schofield - 1996 - In Christopher Gill & Mary Margaret McCabe (eds.), Form and Argument in Late Plato. Oxford University Press. pp. 49-77.
The Development of Plato's Metaphysics.Gail Fine - 1984 - Philosophical Review 93 (1):143.
Perceiving Particulars and Recollecting the Forms in the 'Phaedo'.Catherine Osborne - 1995 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 95:211 - 233.

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Citations of this work BETA

Plato and the Norms of Thought.R. Woolf - 2013 - Mind 122 (485):171-216.
Observations on “the Equal” and “the Equals”: Phaedo 72e‑77a.José Trindade Santos - 2016 - Archai: Revista de Estudos Sobre as Origens Do Pensamento Ocidental 17:119-135.

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