answer he gives to it, or at least his first answer, takes the form of what seems to be a mere myth or poetic fiction; though perhaps we may find that it m conveys a serious meaning, a meaning which becomes more distinct in the farther development of his philo-sophy. In any case the answer is one which deserves our particular attention, as it is the first expression of tfhat ideal theory which is the basis of Plato's philosophical theology.
Poets and other inspired men, we are here told, have declared " that the soul is immortal and at one time has an end which is termed dying, and at another time is born again, but is never destroyed. ... The soul then, as being immortal, and as having been born again many times, and having seen all things that exist, whether in this world or in the world above, has knowledge of them all: and it is no wonder that she should be able to call to remembrance all that she virtue: for, as all nature is akin and the soul has learned all things, there is no difficulty in or as men say, learning, out of a
recollection all the rest, if a man is strenuous and does not faint: for all enquiry and all learning is recoiled--
On this view, then, the soul from the beginning has all truth in itself, but has it in a dim implicit way, as we might be said to know something which we
but of which the recollection may be
IMendi 81 B.
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