The Possibility of Inquiry: Meno's Paradox from Socrates to Sextus by Gail FineThe Possibility of Inquiry: Meno's Paradox from Socrates to Sextus by Gail Fine

The Possibility of Inquiry: Meno's Paradox from Socrates to Sextus

byGail Fine

Hardcover | April 27, 2014

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Gail Fine presents an original interpretation of a compelling puzzle in ancient philosophy. Meno's Paradox, which is first formulated in Plato's Meno, challenges the very possibility of inquiry. Plato replies with the theory of recollection, according to which we all had prenatal knowledge ofsome range of things, and what we call inquiry involves recollecting what we previously knew; he also illustrates this with his famous cross-examination of an untutored slave about a geometry problem, whose solution the slave is able to discover through inquiry. Hence, contrary to the paradox,inquiry is possible after all. Plato is not the only philosopher to grapple with Meno's Paradox: so too do Aristotle, the Epicureans, the Stoics, and Sextus. How do their various replies compare with one another, and with Plato's? How good are any of their replies? In a fascinating fragment preserved in Damascius' Commentary onthe Phaedo, Plutarch briefly considers these questions (though for obvious chronological reasons he doesn't discuss Sextus). But Fine's book is the first full-length systematic treatment of the paradox and responses to it. Among the topics discussed are the nature of knowledge; how knowledge differsfrom mere true belief; the nature of inquiry; varieties of innatism; concepts and meaning; the scope and limits of experience. The Possibility of Inquiry will be of interest to anyone interested in ancient epistemology, in ancient philosophy, or in epistemology.
Gail Fine earned her BA from the University of Michigan, and her PhD from Harvard University. Since 1975, she has been a professor in the Sage School of Philosophy at Cornell University. Since 2008, she has also been a Senior Research Fellow in Merton College, Oxford, and a Visiting Professor of Ancient Philosophy in the University of ...
Title:The Possibility of Inquiry: Meno's Paradox from Socrates to SextusFormat:HardcoverDimensions:400 pagesPublished:April 27, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199577390

ISBN - 13:9780199577392


Table of Contents

1. IntroductionPart I: Plato's Meno2. The Origins of the Problem3. Meno's Questions and Socrates' Dilemma4. Socrates' Three-Stage Reply: the First and Second Stages5. The Third Stage: the Second Statement of The Theory of RecollectionPart II: Aristotle and After6. Aristotelian Inquiry7. Epicurean Inquiry8. Stoic Inquiry9. Plutarch's Account10. Sceptical inquiry: Sextus and the Stoics11. Sceptical Inquiry: Sextus and the EpicureansBibliographyIndex LocorumIndex NominumGeneral Index