عنوان مقاله [English]
Plato has identified Meno’s paradox as one of the most important theoretical challenges to learning. Meno’s paradox is that research and learning about what one does not know is impossible and about what one knows is useless. To solve this paradox, Plato proposed the Theory of Recollection. According to this theory, learning is the recollection of pre-existing knowledge that the human soul has forgotten in mixing with the body. Augustine does not find the Theory of Recollection convincing. Of course, the relationship between Augustine’s position and Plato’s view that knowledge is a recollection is very vague.
According to Augustine, learning is not simply the mere receipt of information, but the ability to recall what we already know. Contrary to the early days of his intellectual life, Augustine believes that the example of Socrates’ question and answer with a slave cannot show the correctness of the Theory of Recollection. Augustine’s reflections on the book of The Confessions also show that remembrance involves the a priori existence of the soul. But in the second half of his intellectual life, Augustine believes that divine light brings rational things to the mind and causes them to be known without the need for innate knowledge or the pre-existence of the soul in another world. Some commentators believe that the main reason for this approach is the difficulty of accepting the past life of the soul as the main component of the Theory of Recollection.
But there is no consensus among them on the timing and quality of Augustine’s change of approach. According to Gilson, Augustine never categorically disproved the notion that the soul existed before the body, and never explicitly referred to where the soul existed before the body. According to Teske, in the second period of his intellectual life, Augustine retreated from the Theory of Recollection as he had put it in his earlier writings. From O’Daly’s point of view, nowhere in Augustine’s writings can one find an explicit comment on the past life of the soul.
The research question is whether the subject of the pre-existence of the soul is the only way to understand Augustine’s position on the Theory of Recollection? In other words, is the only way to get closer to an optimal understanding of Augustine’s change of epistemological approach, to take another ontological position among other opinions? The research claims that the reading of Augustine’s philosophy of language and semiotics opens a new entrance to the theory of divine enlightenment as a novel solution to the Meno paradox. In fact, instead of ontologically, the focus of Augustine’s discussion is on the discussion of language and its ability to convey meaning, real teaching, and learning. According to this linguistic approach, nothing can be learned through words and questions and answers. Therefore, unlike Plato, he concludes that learning is not the same as recollection, but the understanding of knowledge and realities of the outside world is done with the help of the light of the inner teacher, God. Augustine called this thesis divine enlightenment.
The purpose of this study is to analyze and explain this claim by emphasizing the treatise on Augustine’s “The Teacher”. In this treatise, he talks about the nature of language and its role in teaching and learning. In this treatise, he emphasizes that words are insufficient to transmit our thoughts and ideas to another, and therefore, the mind reaches the level of enlightenment and understanding of the world with the knowledge it has received from its inner teacher. As a result, enlightenment of the mind by God provides the best explanation for the Theory of Recollection