Error of Pre-Existence"

Jens Kertscher
2019 Journal of didactics of philosophy  
Plato's dialogue Meno is a text that is often used in teaching philosophy. The slave example as well as the so-called "theory of reminiscence" (anamnesis doctrine) enjoy great popularity. However, the interpretation of this supposed doctrine is demanding and controversial. One problem is that the doctrine as presented in the Meno is peculiarly interwoven with religious ideas. If one takes Plato's text literally here, one must ascribe to him a bizarre thesis. This would be particularly
more » ... e for philosophy lessons. In this article I introduce the context of the anamnesis doctrine in the Meno. By positioning the doctrine in its context the limits of mythical-religious interpretations become clear. I then present a standard interpretation and place it in the reception context of modern rationalist epistemology. Lastly, I outline a proposal for an interpretation that should also address the practical relevance of these considerations in the context of the Socratic way of life.
doi:10.46586/jdph.2019.9563 fatcat:o7j4w2drivdblmwdza7krgqinq