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Plato Knowledge Essay

Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics Reading Questions (1) In the Meno, Plato argued that it was impossible for us to learn something genuinely new: if you know x, you needn’t inquire about x, and if you don’t know x, you won’t recognize it when you find it. Thus, Plato argued, all learning is really recollection. Aristotle is trying to give a different answer to the Meno problem, one that doesn’t involve reincarnating or Platonic Forms. What is it? Aristotle argues that knowledge must be displayed in the demonstrative structure of a science.

(2) How – and why – does Aristotle distinguish things “prior and better known to us” from things “prior and better known by nature? He distinguishes things “prior and better known to us” from things “prior and better known by nature” in Posterior Analytics. What is better known to us versus what is known by nature is not the same thing because what is known to us is affected by our perception. Whereas we have what is prior and better known by nature which is furthest from perception (particular vs universal is how he describes such.

He proves we will result in Plato’s theory in the Meno of confirming what we already know or learning nothing at all if we fail to distinguish between the two. (3) Why does Aristotle deny that everything can be demonstrated? Aristotle denies that not everything can be demonstrated. Those of which whom allow circular demonstration (i. e: If A, then B, then A must equal C. ) are reiterating that in conclusion, A is A at all times. This method can be used to prove anything because we are not considering the distinctive properties of each factor.

Also, concluding that the results are not deduction nor relevant to the things assumed. (4) Can you explain Aristotle’s claim that “perception produces the universal in us”? How does this explain how something indemonstrable can be known? Aristotle claims that “perception produces the universal in us” it describes that we have prior knowledge of a subject that is a commonly accepted idea until one of the factors from that subject proves otherwise. It is not to say that because one takes a stand that all others will do as well but through reasoning we can come to a paradigm shift that accepts the new theory.

It would not need to be demonstrated then but simply understood and accepted amongst the community. (5) Plato would agree with Aristotle that we can know x in virtue of having demonstrated that x. But he would disagree with Aristotle’s account of how indemonstrable can be known. Why, and what would he say instead? Plato would disagree with Aristotle’s account of how indemonstrable can be known because where he understood universals as forms, Aristotle believes universals are generalizations from particulars.


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