Analysis Of Socrates Recollection Argument

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Even on his last day of existence, Socrates did not surrender his exploration of the nature of the soul. Using the Socratic Method and the Recollection Argument, he cleverly proved that the soul exists before birth and that it is immortal. In this paper, I will explain Socrates’ line of reasoning by using the words of the philosophers engaged in the discussion recollected in Phaedo and a metaphor of my own. Secondly, I will point out some limitations in the Recollection Argument, such as its exclusive definition of all learning as recollection and the negative perception of the body. Finally, I will assess the strength of Socrates’ premises and the conclusion to reach an overall evaluation of the argument that established a strong foundation…show more content…
Life is reduced to recollecting what we already know and nothing else, making our lives simply a nostalgic remembering. Why couldn’t some of our learning be gained with the body instead of through recollection? Why couldn’t we define beauty by simply comparing all the objects we have known in our lives and figure out what overall characteristics are more valuable or trigger our emotions? Socrates could answer this question since he implies that we cannot set our own standards as they would be based on our sense-perception. There is another possible loophole in Plato’s argument. He argues that we must have acquired the knowledge of the Forms before we were born but lost it at birth and then, the knowledge was gradually recovered with our senses as we start to recollect. However, Socrates does not have any guarantee that when he dies, and thus gains access to the true reality, the realm of Forms, he will remember what happened during his dream-state. If Socrates’ position that no knowledge can be gained in the dream-sate, then this would not make a difference. But if the argument of reincarnation is retaken and we enter the dream-state to learn a lesson, remembering what happened in that life becomes essential. Memories are of no use if they can’t be remembered consciously, the same way dreams are useless if we can’t remember them. If he were to forget his dream-state, he could cyclically spend his lives trying to remember what he dreamt, without realizing he already woke
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