Download The Possibility of Inquiry: Meno’s Paradox from Socrates to by Gail Fine PDF

By Gail Fine

Gail fantastic provides an unique interpretation of a compelling puzzle in old philosophy. Meno’s Paradox, that's first formulated in Plato’s Meno, demanding situations the very probability of inquiry. Plato replies with the speculation of recollection, in response to which all of us had prenatal wisdom of a few variety of items, and what we name inquiry consists of recollecting what we formerly knew; he additionally illustrates this together with his well-known cross-examination of an untutored slave a couple of geometry challenge, whose resolution the slave is ready to become aware of via inquiry. accordingly, opposite to the anomaly, inquiry is feasible in spite of everything. Plato isn't the merely thinker to grapple with Meno’s Paradox: so too do Aristotle, the Epicureans, the Stoics, and Sextus. How do their quite a few replies examine with each other, and with Plato’s? How solid are any in their replies? In a desirable fragment preserved in Damascius’ Commentary at the Phaedo, Plutarch in short considers those questions (though for visible chronological purposes he doesn’t speak about Sextus). yet Fine’s publication is the 1st full-length systematic therapy of the anomaly and responses to it. one of the issues mentioned are the character of data; how wisdom differs from mere precise trust; the character of inquiry; forms of innatism; options and which means; the scope and bounds of expertise. The chance of Inquiry can be of curiosity to somebody drawn to historical epistemology, in historical philosophy, or in epistemology.

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Will it do if one has just nondoxastic appearances? We’ll also ask what sort of content one must grasp (whether as a matter of knowledge or belief or of some other cognitive condition) in order to be able to inquire: must one grasp something’s real essence, or will grasping something less than that do? Must one in some way grasp the very thing one is inquiring into, or will it do if one grasps something suitably related to it? We’ll also ask when one needs to know or grasp whatever one must know or grasp if one is to be able to inquire: Must one do so prenatally?

According to the first, as we’ve seen, one needs to know the very thing being inquired into; according to the second, one needs to know just something suitably relevant to that which one is inquiring into. 49 However, one might think that one must have some knowledge or beliefs to inquire. So, for example, J. Cook Wilson says that ‘[i]n an inquiry, first comes this questioning activity when we set a problem to ourselves. 50 This seems to reject a matching version of a foreknowledge principle for propositional inquiry, but to endorse a stepping-stone version.

Jolley, Leibniz and Locke: A Study of the New Essays on Human Understanding (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984) and his The Light of the Soul: Theories of Ideas in Leibniz, Malebranche, and Descartes (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990); S. : University of California Press, 1975); G. Hunter and B. Inwood, ‘Plato, Leibniz, and the Furnished Soul’, Journal of the History of Philosophy 22 (1984), 423–34; Scott, Recollection and Experience: Plato’s Theory of Learning and Its Successors (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995) (RE hereinafter), PM, and his ‘Innatism and the Stoa’, Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society 33 (1988), 123–54 (‘Innatism’ hereinafter); and J.

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