Innate Knowledge and Scientific Rationality

  • Martin Edman
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 236)


All scientific knowledge has its roots in structures inborn in the human mind. This innatist theory of rationality, first found and defended in Plato’s dialogue Meno, is a cornerstone in the Platonic argument for the rationality and intersubjectivity of scientific knowledge. Since antiquity it has gained relatively few adherents among scientists and philosophers of science. There are probably several reasons for this. One is that Plato’s argument in Meno gives rise to doubts as to its validity and applicability — doubts that have created a consensus that the Meno argument is flawed and does not provide good reasons for believing that scientific knowledge stems from innate knowledge.


Scientific Knowledge Background Knowledge Incline Plane Scientific Rationality Empirical Science 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Edman
    • 1
  1. 1.Umeå UniversitySweden

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