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A History of Western Philosophy - Book 1: Chapter 18, Knowledge and Perception in Plato Summary & Analysis

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Book 1: Chapter 18, Knowledge and Perception in Plato Summary and Analysis

Empirical knowledge was part of perception. Plato considered the real knowledge to be part of concepts. Adding numbers involved knowledge while descriptive statements could not involve truths that philosophers used. Although such view originated Parmenides, Plato explicitly formulated it.

Plato criticized the view that knowledge was perception, which, according to Socrates, was to be infallible when involving knowledge. Socrates expressed the view that man was the measure of all things as perceptions reflect individual characteristics while everything was changing or was in the process of becoming. Different perceptions were also relative and treated differently by various philosophers. Plato assigned this attribute to senses and not the real knowledge but Heraclitus regarded knowledge as involving matters that were becoming rather than already existed.

The relative qualities that were part of...

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