Platonic Memory Model: Lost Wax

Shitty Wax

Dear John,

As a philosopher, I think that you can help me with a conundrum. You mentioned that the “wax model” attributed to Plato is erroneous, and that he (Socrates) did not subscribe to such a model. However, I keep coming across it in my research regarding memory and oblivion. I’d be grateful for any clarification you might offer!



+++++++++++++++++ a prompt reply ++++++++++++++++

Hi Lane,

I wouldn’t worry about it, since what you’re suggesting about Plato is fine for your purposes. Plato does indeed consider a model of memory as a wax tablet in the mind, blank at birth, on which the senses plant impressions. He does this in the dialogue _The Theatetus_ in the course of trying to figure out what knowledge is. But he criticizes and rejects this model, and replaces it by the model of the aviary, which he also criticizes and rejects. He finally offers a third account of knowledge, but finally rejects it too, and the dialogue ends without arriving at a conclusion. His actual view of knowledge and the mind, from the dialogue _The Meno_ on, is that genuine knowledge is of the Forms, and is present in the mind at birth, but has to be retrieved by a process of recollection–the so-called docrine of recollection. Much later Locke does adopt the model of the mind that Plato considers and rejects, of the mind as a “tabula rasa” or blank slate at birth, on which the senses inscribe ideas (this blank slate is usually taken to be wax in Locke too). But as I say, I don’t think it makes any difference for your purposes, since even though he rejects it in the end, Plato does indeed describe and consider the blank wax slate model.

Hope this is of some use.


Missing the Full Moon (1808)

Space Agency of Japan was recommended to discard its first moon mission after more than one decade of retardations, said spokeswoman Monday in the newest brutal impact to besieged national foreign lunar program. Development of the so-called penetrator test prods took so long that nut/mothership of mission, established ten years prior, is in disrepair and would require vast money to regulate with results producing.

Ghost Story: “A goat in the room…”

You ask me tonight if I believe in ghosts. It sounds silly to me to say this, but yes, I believe in ghosts because I’ve seen a ghost. I want to make this clear because the last person didn’t believe me. I’m telling you this in all honesty. There are shades and shadows of souls, and they are around us all the time, but everyone cannot see them. As with my family many can see. My grandfather could, my dad, my auntie and occasionally me also, but my mom and grandma and uncle couldn’t even by looking at them directly, by me pointing out and speaking out loud about them. This caused some hilarious moments with my grandma as she became very hard of hearing. One night we were in our living room, I was sitting by the fire and she was near the bird cage, reading a book. I felt a cold draft, and felt a presence in the room. I told gram that there was a ghost. She kept thinking I said “a goat in the room.” It kind of made me laugh, and took the fear and dread from the experience.

Night Shot

Night Shot at Country Cemetary

It is difficult persuading you regarding the fright inside of me. Fright . , dog Django, , close to , , 50 feet, freaked , Django …. , Django, in the presence of – . . . who knows? and a hard snarl of the lowthroat. I frequently nightwalked my dog, but in the slow life of a small county, came on top of one native graveyard. We halted close to the slightly open gate (we portray here) and Django started to snarl this bodydepth utterance. Something was becoming incandescent  just off camera, to the right, approximately 50 feet. I age-freaked seriously for this, and Django remained in snarl. He would not be moved onward. This picture is of the door opened on this cemetery. The light would not be depicted in camera. I understand that this test probably does not swim regarding what I saw, or what Django detected, but I was in the powerful presence of something. I know this to be true. 

The following day I was going back to look, looking for what might have fostered incandescence. The little graveyard was really completely pretty and calm. Some of the gravestones had inscribed dates middle into the 1800’s.

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