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Idea Vs Reason

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Essay title: Idea Vs Reason

Idea vs. Reason

Meno's Paradox is quite an interesting problem. How can one figure something out when they don't have the slightest idea what the problem is? Plato uses an idea to solve this problem. Descartes uses reason. Plato and Descartes are almost complete opposites in the way they think. Because of the contrast in thought, this paradox is a nearly perfect topic to do a paper on.

Plato has a quirky answer to the question. He argues on the basis that the soul is immortal. This is the foundation for all his thoughts. He explains that the soul has been to a far off region, known as the realm of the forms. In this place, the soul gains all of the knowledge that could possibly be attained. Therefore, knowledge is only a recollection of what you already know. Basically, everybody in the world already knows the answer to Meno's Paradox, so it is only a matter of finding something that you already have learned. Plato uses an example to show Meno his solution. I will not explain the demonstration of the slave boy, because you already know it. This rebuttal by Plato seems to be, frankly, stupid. He basically tells the slave the answer to the mathematical problem, after which he tells Meno that the slave has remembered it. Meno seems to automatically accept this argument, which is why I feel that this argument is not very good. How can one accept that the slave has remembered the answer, when he is actually just told the answer?

Plato's abstract ideas have their pros and cons. I like that Plato is thinking outside the box, way outside the box. If one can accept Plato's argument that the soul is immortal, than his reasoning has little flaws. He has good arguments that the soul is immortal also. The one that makes the most sense to me is that opposites come from opposites. The living comes from the dead and the dead obviously come from the living. If this were not true, in time everything would die out and there would be nothing left. The realm of the forms is a little far fetched, but it fits in perfectly with his arguments. The bad side of Plato's arguments is that they are entirely based on something that is not proven. They are based on ideas. It takes a lot of faith to accept Plato's philosophy, and most people don't have much faith.

On the other side of this problem we find Descartes. Descartes bases his arguments on reason. He says that knowledge can only come by way of reason. In my opinion, Descartes can be classified as a skeptic. Descartes' philosophy is so skeptical that he doesn't even need to come up with a specific argument for Meno's Paradox because his whole way of thinking disregards it. The first rule in his method, after all, is to discard what cannot be proven. I think that if Descartes were still alive today he would laugh at Meno's Paradox, and say that was a stupid question.

The way Descartes thinks is so methodical and precise that I find it to be extremely boring. Philosophy is supposed to

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