First Question: Education and Change
Education is a significant aspect of changing the face of society, and thus the education system adopted determined the social change to be experienced. Socrates and Sophists have different thoughts on the education system needed to be adopted to have a significant change in society (Boucher and Kelly, 2017). According to the two philosophers, different changes needed to be adopted in the educational philosophy with identified similarities and differences to inform them significantly. The similarities in Socrates and Sophists in education were that they educated students eager and willing to learn. The differences arose in the rhetoric versus direct, attitude, curriculum and motive.
Regarding Sophists’ ideology, students need to be taught the things they wanted to know and the things they were paid for. According to Corey (2015), this approach prompted Sophists to engage students in political and personal accomplishment consistently. Sophist argues that education strategy needs to ensure that weak arguments are made strong, and this aspect made him popular in the political and legal fields. The strategy of empowering weaker arguments is referred to as "opposed logoi." The education strategy/change enabled the wrong and weak arguments to sound right and strong, thus making those that were educated to have self-advantages in arguments when they came in situations they had to win over someone. Therefore, the education system, as argued by Sophists, needed to be subjective, relative and skeptical to ensure that arguments direction would favor them. The education system ensured that the weaker argument could be made strong, thus persuading people to go by it. This perspective teaches students to adapt to the circumstances and environment they are presented with.
Socrates argued that education needs to take a cautionary approach that does a lot of questioning on aspects of education, thus making it possible to understand the concept in an excellent way (Lane, 2015). The questioning approach is called elenchus. Teachers need to have the expert knowledge to ensure that they can sufficiently defend and explain truths in a well-reasoned strategy regarded as (aitias logismos). At this point, Socrates argued that he could not fit to be a teacher since he would not be in positions that adequately defend truths and facts on his own beliefs. In this regard, Socrates supported the fact that people should care for their souls and incorporate an ethic of justice self-restraint and wisdom instead of having competitive ethics popularly embraced by the Greeks. Therefore, according to Socrates, education system change should be based on the teachers' ability to support truths, knowledge effectively, and their own beliefs while answering any questioning from the students to achieve effective learning outcomes. Furthermore, there is an aspect of the argument by Gorgias that teachers need not be indifferent. However, it is almost impossible to achieve based on Sophist’s and Socrates' arguments.
Second Question: Theory of Recollection
Socrates's explanation of the theory of recollection argues that the series of questioning and answering is heavily dependent on the collection of past things and experiences. Socrates brings out this aspect by questioning the slave of Meno on how to double the area of a square (Candiotto, 2020). The slave had not been taught about geometry, so he did not answer the question. However, with the help of Socrates questioning the slave was able to get an answer. Socrates's questioning and help enabled in driving the slave from the unknown to the known through a series of questioning. According to Socrates, the theory of collection is informed through the theses of epistemology and ontology. The epistemology thesis describes the reasoning where one uses previously acquired knowledge that is more than the ability to create beliefs. Knowledge cannot be eliminated, as in the case of beliefs.
On the other hand, the ontological thesis entails the existence of the soul and its relation to the body. The soul can exist without the body just as the fact with the knowledge that can stand on its own. Therefore, knowledge is directly connected to reason, and it's acquired through experience.
The theory is presented by moving from the unknown to the known point of view. One becomes to know something that they previously did not know when aided to remember things they know, thus making it possible to unravel the unknown (Jang, 2017). In this case, the known is reached through enabling the recollection. The dialogues between Socrates and Manon slave effectively illustrate the power of remembering, thus bringing for knowledge (Jang, 2017). In this case, Socrates asks the slave question that is unknown to him, and the slave does not have the answer. However, through the engagement of Socrates and the slave through questioning, he drives him towards the answer, thus enabling him to give a correct answer effectively.
Lastly, Socrates has effectively answered the theory of collection through the engagement of the slave. In this case, Socrates enables the slave to answer a formerly unknown through a process of recollection informed through questioning and answer. Additionally, after the slave's answer, Socrates turns to Manon and requests him to answer a previously unanswered question on "What is a virtue." This approach would enable Manon to answer the question through the theory of recollection.
Boucher, D., & Kelly, P. (Eds.). (2017). Political thinkers: from Socrates to the present. Oxford University Press.
Candiotto, L. (2020). The Divine Feeling: The Epistemic Function of Erotic Desire in Plato’s Theory of Recollection. Philosophia, 48(2), 445-462.
Corey, D. D. (2015). The Sophists in Plato's Dialogues. SUNY Press.
Jang, M. (2017). On Sense Perception and Theory of Recollection in Phaedo. Acta Cogitata: A Philosophy Journal, 3(1), 1.
Lane, M. (2015). Plato's progeny: How Plato and Socrates still captivate the modern mind. Bloomsbury Publishing.