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Brief essay on disagreement with assertion that knowledge is kept through recollection Cites Phaedo by Plato In Phaedo 73b to 77 Plato argues that learning is in fact recollection of knowledge because that since the soul existed in previous lives it contains knowledge from previous lives This argument is weak because of how most people learn what age they learn it at and how they are taught In the dialogue between Socrates and Simmias they first agree that the soul does not die with the body but lives on spending some time in Hades and then returning into a newly borne body This is repeated with each subsequent death Socrates having argued this and Simmias agreeing says that the soul also has the capability of retaining information gathered during previous lives He starts with this example You know what happens to lovers whenever they see a lyre a garment or anything else that their beloved is accustomed to use they know the lyre and the image of the boy to whom it belongs comes into their mind This is recollection just as someone on seeing Simmias often recollects Cebes and there are thousands of other such occurrences Here he introduces the basics of recollection the ability to remember information gathered earlier and to abstractly associate it with objects and ideas He then introduces a new idea that people always know what equality is By equal he means it as an idea of what is just and does not exclusively refer to equal as meaning the same From this concept one is able to determine if two tangible objects are equal Therefore one must have a firm understanding of the concept the Equal and we must have it at or before the time of birth Since this concept cannot be developed through the senses because they always change Plato says that it must be developed prior
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