Type of Document Thesis Author Cline, Joshua URN etd-04122004-185045 Title Recollection and the Slave Boy Degree Master of Arts Department Philosophy, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Russell Dancy Committee Chair Peter Dalton Committee Member Slaveva Griffin Committee Member Keywords
Date of Defense 2004-03-17 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe purpose of this project is to investigate what recollection in the Meno entails. In other words, what does the demonstration with the slave intend to show? Does the slave boy recollect Forms? Does the boy recollect empirical as well as a priori truths? What is the difference between true belief and knowledge as presented in the demonstration? In order to answer these questions, I outline each of the slave boy’s responses to Socrates’ questions with the intent of figuring out when and if recollection occurs in the dialogue.
I begin this project by investigating whether or not sense experience is a factor in recollection. In other words, I investigate the role that the diagrams play in the demonstration. I are that the diagrams are a dispensable component in the process of recollection. The reason for this is that the process of recollection can be accomplished without their use. Plato’s ultimate intent in the demonstration is to show that the proof can only be done theoretically, that is, with the answer in front of the boy at the outset of the demonstration, the boy needs to work out the solution using his mind’s own resources.
The second component of this project is Dominic Scott’s distinction between the interpretations of recollection ‘K’ and ‘D.’ According to ‘K’, recollection is used to explain how we form conceptual knowledge, understanding is therefore, the product of information provided by the senses and universal notions. According to ‘D’, the purpose of recollection is to scrape away all of the deceptive notions provided by sense experience to reveal the Forms which lie beneath.
My main target throughout is Scott’s interpretation ‘D.’ I argue that nowhere in the dialogue does Plato explicitly or implicitly that sense experience is deceptive or that it is necessary to connect with universal notions. Contrary to this interpretation, I argue that recollection in the Meno occurs as merely a rough deduction of an interlocutor’s questioning. In other words, the slave boy deduces from a series of questions provided by Socrates the answer to the geometrical problem.
My secondary target is Bedu-Addo, who contends that the purpose of recollection is to stir up true beliefs of what a square is like in order to connect with the Square Itself. I argue that Bedu-Addo’s thesis rests on a faulty interpretation of the text. Nowhere in the dialogue, in the demonstration or elsewhere, does Plato tell us that the purpose of recollection is to reconnect with the Forms.
Filename Size Approximate Download Time (Hours:Minutes:Seconds)
28.8 Modem 56K Modem ISDN (64 Kb) ISDN (128 Kb) Higher-speed Access ClineJSpring2004.pdf 369.93 Kb 00:01:42 00:00:52 00:00:46 00:00:23 00:00:01