NB: Taken from a conversation with Tad.

Alexander wrote:


In Plato's philosophy, intuition, or "nous" in Greek, refers to a type of knowledge that is not based on sensory perception or rational deduction. Instead, intuition is a direct and immediate grasp of reality that comes from a higher or divine source.

Plato believed that intuition was a faculty of the soul that allowed individuals to access knowledge of the Forms or Ideas, which are eternal, perfect, and unchanging entities that exist outside of the physical world. The Forms are the ultimate reality, and knowledge of them is essential for true understanding.

According to Plato, intuition is not something that can be acquired through study or practice but is instead a gift from the gods. He believed that certain individuals, such as philosophers, were more likely to possess this gift due to their innate intellectual abilities and their dedication to seeking truth.

Plato also believed that intuition was superior to other forms of knowledge because it allowed individuals to grasp the ultimate reality directly, rather than relying on imperfect sensory information or flawed reasoning. However, he also recognized that intuition could be difficult to access and was not infallible, as individuals' own biases and beliefs could distort their perceptions.

Overall, intuition plays a crucial role in Plato's philosophy as a means of accessing ultimate truth and understanding the nature of reality beyond the physical world. (ChatGPT)


Plato believed that the human soul existed before birth and had knowledge of the Forms or Ideas, which are eternal and perfect entities that exist beyond the physical world. However, when the soul is incarnated in the body, it forgets this knowledge and becomes absorbed in the material world. Thus, the goal of philosophy, for Plato, is to help individuals remember this innate knowledge and regain their understanding of the Forms.

According to Plato, anamnesis occurs when the soul is reminded of the knowledge it already possesses through questioning and dialectical inquiry. Through this process, the soul can recollect what it knew before birth and thereby gain a deeper understanding of the nature of reality. Anamnesis is not a matter of acquiring new knowledge but rather of uncovering knowledge that already exists within the individual's soul.

Plato used the allegory of the cave to illustrate the concept of anamnesis. In the allegory, individuals are chained in a cave and can only see shadows cast on the wall. These shadows represent the imperfect and illusory world of sensory perception. However, if the individuals are released from their chains and led out of the cave, they can see the true nature of reality, which corresponds to the Forms. The process of being led out of the cave and seeing the truth represents anamnesis, or the recollection of innate knowledge. (ChatGPT)