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La réminiscence chez Platon : théorie de la connaissance ; anthropologie ; éthique

Abstract : Plato exposes his doctrine of ἀνάμνησις in the Meno, Phaedo and Phaedrus ; I argue thatdespite the differences in presentation between these three dialogues, it is a unified theory. The doctrine also raises questions related to Plato’s epistemology, such as the nature of Plato’s innatism, the contribution of experience to knowledge and the function of myths. These questions are considered through an examination of the theory’s role in each dialogue, followed every time by a comparison with the other two dialogues. Recollection aims at making sense of the following experiences : the recognition of necessary truths, the use of universal notions to describe contingent realities and the spiritual conversion caused by a noble love. These three phenomena are explained by the recollection of prenatal knowledge forgotten at birth. Although we are not aware of this knowledge anymore, its unconscious memory shapes our experience of the world. This memory is thus best described as an archetype. In order to recover prenatal knowledge and turn it into conscious knowledge, we need to engage in dialectic and try to gather in a definition all occurrences (real and hypothetical) of a given form. For the disembodied soul might enjoy an unqualified intuition of the forms, but the embodied soul has a different fate : it dwells in the realm of becoming and is therefore confined to a synthetic grasp of forms through logos. Thus the doctrine of recollection is not just an epistemological theory, it also has an anthropological dimension : it suggests that the human soul’s ontological status is in between the realms of being and becoming. As a result, anamnesis also has ethical implications. Since human life is a mediation between these two realms to which we belong, we must harmonize our actions with the archetypes of human excellence, which we can’t ignore without alienating a part of ourselves
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Submitted on : Monday, May 25, 2020 - 5:43:08 PM
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Guillaume Pilote. La réminiscence chez Platon : théorie de la connaissance ; anthropologie ; éthique. Philosophie. Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I; Université d'Ottawa, 2016. Français. ⟨NNT : 2016PA01H234⟩. ⟨tel-02619513⟩



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