Aristotle Vs. Plato Learning Is Recollection Essay

This essay has a total of 659 words and 3 pages.

Aristotle Vs. Plato Learning Is Recollection

What alternative does Aristotle offer to Plato's claim that learning is recollection?
Where would Aristotle locate the mistake in Plato's argument in The Phaedo?


In his dialogues The Phaedo and Meno, Plato, through the form of Socrates, puts forth the
idea that all learning is recollection. In The Phaedo, to prove that the soul is immortal,
Socrates asserts the view that all learning is recollection and we simply need to be
reminded of facts that our immortal souls are aware of. In Meno, Socrates attempts to show
the truth of this belief by doing complex geometry with a nearby slave boy. Socrates leads
the boy through a series of questions, and he answers correctly lending to Socrates' idea
about learning. His brightest pupil, Aristotle, disagreed with this view and put forth a
differing view in his work The Metaphysics.

In The Metaphysics, Aristotle puts forth the view that universal information is gained
through experience and not recollection as Plato had said. Man connects a series of events
into a causal chain through experience. For instance, gathering the fact that a certain
remedy has helped two different sick people get better is simply a matter of experience.
In his view, art is even greater and closer to wisdom than experience. Experience belies
art, in that art is created by the formulation of universals from many individual
experiences. Extracting the universal idea that the remedy given to those two people will
help all people afflicted with the same sickness is a matter of art. The main difference
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