Paradox of Meno
the Harmonization treatise
Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Full recordShow full item record
AbstractIn the Meno there is a paradox (aporema) claiming that research and therefore learning is impossible; because we know a something or not. If there is knowledge, we don't need to research and if there isn't, we cannot search; because we haven't any idea of a subject-matter. Plato resolves the paradox by the theory of Anamnesis: knowledge/learning is recollection. This theory presupposes the pre-existence of the soul and its transmigration. In the Posterior Analytics Aristotle discusses the paradox and resolves it by separation between previous universal knowledge (of major premise) and the particular knowledge of things. Al-Farabi in the treatise Harmonization between the opinions of Plato and Aristotle, tries to reconcile their principal views which one of them is on the paradox of Meno. He relates their views from Plato's Phaedo and Aristotle's Posterior Analytics and then harmonizing them. Al-Farabi as a Muslim philosopher has no attention to the theory of soul transmigration in the Phaedo and looks at the arguments of the immortality of the soul as a witness that Plato uses in answering the problem of knowledge/learning. Because of this interpretation and his focusing on the essence of recollection theory, Al-Farabi eventually reconciles the recollection theory (of Plato) with the theories of deduction and induction (in Aristotle).