Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Phronesis Vol. 48, No. 3, July 2003

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Phronesis Vol. 48, No. 3, July 2003

Article excerpt

Recollecting Forms in the Phaedo, PANOS DIMAS

According to an interpretation that has dominated the literature, which the author refers to as the traditional interpretation, the recollection argument aims at establishing the thesis that our learning in this life consists in recollecting knowledge the soul acquired before being born into a body, or thesis R, by using the thesis that there exist forms, thesis F, as a premise. These entities, the forms, are incorporeal, immutable, and transcendent in the sense that they exist separately from material perceptibles, which in turn are related to them through participation and by being caused by them in some sense. The author argues that strong textual and more general exegetical reasons suggest that the traditional interpretation is mistaken. He also presents an alternative account of the argument for R in the Phaedo and defends a more general interpretation according to which the metaphysical doctrine Plato offers in the Phaedo represents a natural continuation of the philosophical position that stands at the center of the dialectical conversations we find in the shorter Socratic dialogues. …

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