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The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 3, 1998

Ancient Philosophy

Amélie Frost Benedikt
Pages 38-43

Runaway Statues: Platonic Lessons on the Limits of an Analogy

Plato’s best-known distinction between knowledge and opinion occurs in the Meno. The distinction rests on an analogy that compares the acquisition and retention of knowledge to the acquisition and retention of valuable material goods. But Plato saw the limitations of the analogy and took pains to warn against learning the wrong lessons from it. In this paper, I will revisit this familiar analogy with a view to seeing how Plato both uses and distances himself from it.

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