Analyzing Plato's and David Hume's View of Death.

Analyzing Plato
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Plato argues in many works that there is 'apriori' knowledge, and in the Phaedo he argues in particular that it was 'reincarnation' that is the cause of it. The notion of prior knowledge is further inferred to have come from a time before this life.


The following will break down his argument concerning ‘prior knowledge’ or ‘recollection’. In turn, the philosophy of David Hume will be presented. Concerning death, Hume was famously a non-believer in any type of an afterlife, and famously, when his good friend Adam Smith visited him when he was dying, he just joked about it with him and was quite cheerful [Norton 23]. For Hume, all that exists, is within the 'perceptable' world. Where Plato maintained that we have prior knowledge, Hume argues that any notion of 'continuity' or 'sameness' through time, is a notion not that we are born with, but have been conditioned to have. What might appear to come from beyond the senses, is just the product of conditioning that begins in perception and the perceivable world. To state or argue that we have a priori knowledge, is to necessarily posit this as succinct from the senses. In other words, this is a form of knowledge which can be understood as ‘interacting’ with the senses or perception, but it is also a form of knowledge which is distinct as well. Toward establishing this important distinction, Plato raises the problem with respect to the notion of “equals” and unequal's. However, he arrives at these abstractions through an argument which claims that “learning is recollection” [Plato 73B]. ...
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