Interactive Memory and Recollection in Plato’s Meno
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We re-examine the geometry lesson in the Meno, focusing on the interaction between interlocutors in the practice of recollection. We appeal to an analogy with interactive memory to suggest how Plato could think that inquiry could be successful even when participants have no awareness of what would satisfy their inquiry. This exposes a feature of recollection that needs no metaphysical assumptions, and which emphasises interaction. This feature, which has escaped the notice of philosophers, is more fundamental to the Meno than a theory of innate ideas. Such a theory may be superimposed on the view about interactive memory we describe for the Meno, but to focus on Plato’s epistemological theory without first understanding what he has to say about the social dimensions of memory is putting the cart before the horse.