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Menos Paradox and The Theory of Recollection Menos paradox is an argument in the form of a question As it is written Meno asks How will you look for something when you dont know what it is or even if you come right up on it how will you know that what you have found is the thing that you didnt know Socrates states it more simply A man cannot try to discover either what he knows or what he does not know This is the matter for inquiry Socrates stated He would not seek what he knows for since he knows it there is no need of the inquiry nor even what he does not know for in that case he does not even know what he is to look for Socrates solves this through the theory of recollection As Socrates stated 82D the soul has learned everything so that when a man has recalled a single piece of knowledge -learned it there is no reason why he should not find out all the rest for seeking and learning are in fact nothing but recollection The theory that the soul has learned everything implies that teaching and inquiry are simply remembering latent knowledge thus making it possible to inquire and to be taught knowledge that one was not aware that one had Menos paradox is as Socrates states a trick argument Socrates tells Meno that he knows this argument and refines Menos paradox by stating it in a different way than Meno originally asked or brought up the argument Socrates asks how one would look for something when one doesnt know what it is or that it exists and if one were to find what it is that one were looking for how would one know that one found it when one didnt know what it was that one was looking for in the first place This is a circular yet rational and
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