Plato presents three different views about knowledge in Meno, Republic, and Theaetetus. In Meno's case, Plato believes knowledge as something innate in us when we are born; in his later view, in Republic, Plato believes we perceive things and gain knowledge; and from the last view, in Theaetus, Plato believes knowledge is the combination of a true opinion and a rational opinion. Strangely enough, Plato's views in Meno, Republic, and Theaetetus are similar, regarding the characteristics of knowledge. Despite that, Plato's views in Meno, Republic, and Theaetetus have different degrees of weakness in developing his argument about knowledge.
The concrete characteristics of knowledge of Plato's views in Meno, Republic, and Theaetetus are similar. According to Ron's Palace,
there are two essential characteristics of the soul. First, knowledge must be certain and infallible. Second, knowledge must have as its object that which is genuinely real as contrasted with that which is an appearance only. Because that which is fully real must, for Plato, be fixed, permanent, and unchanging, he identified the real with the ideal realm of being as opposed to the physical world of becoming (Internet).
Before we are born, our souls stay in the in invisible world and saw all the "Forms" of all things. The "Form", according to Plato, is eternal, unchanging, and universal. In the dialogue between Socrates and Meno (slave boy), according to Moser's book, Socrates mentions that
his soul must remain always possessed of this knowledge…. And if the truth of all things always exists in the soul, then the soul is immortal….and try to discover by recollection what you do not now know, or rather wha...
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...he differences are the degree of weaknesses of each of his view. I think Plato presents a strong argument on we define knowledge. In Theaetetus's case, realistically we can tell that we have some degrees of knowledge by having tests; I think this argument is the best. This definition of knowledge, I think, can apply to our world today. Most importantly, knowledge is involved not only in what we learn, but also in what interpret and process from what we learn in our mind.
Jowett, B. The Dialogues of Plato Translated into English with Analyses and
Introductions. New York: MacMillan and Co, 1892.
Plato. "Meno." "Republic." and "Theatetus." Eds. Paul K. Moser and Arnold vander
Nat. Human Knowledge Classical and Contemporary Approaches. New York:
Oxford University Press 1995.
"Ron's Palace." Feb 13 2000.
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