Perception and Plato’s Theaetetus

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Plato discusses theories of knowledge throughout his famous dialogue, the Theaetetus. He discusses many different ways of learning and attempts to define knowledge. Plato does this through a conversation between a few characters: Socrates, the famous philosopher; Theodorus, an aged friend and philosopher of Socrates; and Theaetetus, a young man who is introduced to Socrates before a discussion. One aspect of knowledge which they review is perception. It is defined and explained by Socrates, to …

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…world in a different way. This is what Socrates explains to Theaetetus, who sparked the topic of conversation with his reply, “knowledge is simply perception.” He was incorrect in his thinking because knowledge consists of justification, belief, and truth. Since two of these aspects are unattainable with perception alone, then perception can, in no way, be considered knowledge. Theaetetus quickly learns the error he has made and the dialogue and the examination of knowledge continues.