Greek Knowledge Vs Priori Knowledge

1025 Words5 Pages
1.
Philosophy is a combination of two Greek terms, Philo (or love) and Sophos (or wise). With this love of wisdom, early philosophers tried to obtain knowledge of various subjects, like understanding of nature and its relation to change. The Presocratic philosophers, including many Milesians, attributed the composition of things to some form of underlying element. Anaximenes reasoned that nature was like air, with processes like rarefaction and condensation changing its nature to fire and water respectively, while Heraclitus akin it to fire as changes to a flickering tension. Thales believed that things are composed of water and while his argument does not sound plausible, an alternative explanation that everything once came from water help
…show more content…
But what kind of knowledge has the most importance? Modern philosophy distinguishes two types of knowledge: priori knowledge and posteriori knowledge. Priori knowledge is said to be knowledge that comes prior to birth. Things like instinct or bodily needs could be considered modern priori knowledge due to the fact that people already obtain this without being taught or shown what it is. Opposing this is posteriori knowledge, where knowledge is gathered through observation and experimentation of the senses. When an individual watch someone else get hurt or even experience their own pain, they gain posteriori knowledge of something harmful. When comparing the two types, posteriori knowledge appears to more reliable than priori knowledge. Unlike the priori knowledge with its ambiguous origin, posteriori knowledge is testable through multiple exposure. Plato, however, disagrees. He states that not only is priori knowledge the true type of knowledge, but that posteriori knowledge is just a false opinion. This is because our senses are what are unreliable as knowledge can only be obtain through the…show more content…
Is it truly possible to trust our senses? Sensatory medical conditions such as Alien Hand Syndrome, where an amputee can feel something on a limb that they no longer have, does prove that our senses can be unreliable at times. This also mean the knowledge is limited to our senses and we’ll have to conform any discovered knowledge to the realms of the physical. However, it doesn’t mean that Plato is correct on his side either. When we gain innate knowledge, something like the theory of evolution could suggest that knowledge was gained from a past experience. While we may obtain some knowledge at birth, it could have been a result from our ancestors who experienced it. The Theory of Form is also without its flaws. One may question the number of Forms that may exist. Would there be a Form that is connected to everything? Would Forms require other Forms in order to be defined it property? While Plato stance with priori knowledge does ask some good questions about our senses, the questions it raises about its own argument makes it sound less
Open Document