The Possibility of Inquiry (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014). £55The title of this dense, challenging, and enlightening study refers to a problem whose origins are found in the Meno. In fact, it is called Meno’s paradox.(M1) But how will you inquire into this, Socrates, when you don’t at all know what it is?(M2) For what sort of thing, from among those you don’t know, will you put forward as the thing you’re inquiring into? (M3) And even if you really encounter it, how will you know that this is the thing you didn’t know? (80d5-8) (p.7)When Socrates rephrases Meno’s paradox it becomes a dilemma:I understand the sort of thing you want to say, Meno. Do you see what an eristic argument you’re introducing, (S4) that it’s not possible for someone to inquire either into that which (ho) he knows or into that which he doesn’t know? For (S2) he wouldn’t inquire into that which he knows (for he knows it, and there’s no need for such a person to inquire); nor (S3) into that which he doesn’t know (for he doesn’t even know what (hoti) he’ll inquire into). (80e1-5) (p.7-8)Inquiry is impossible because either one knows x or one
International Journal of the Platonic Tradition – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1
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