Of God and His Creatures

The tentative conclusions of the Meno, 85-86, and the poetry of the Phaedrus, passed into aphorisms among the later Platonists. See Jowett's Dialogues of Plato, II, pp. 13-19, ed. 3. Later Platonists, we may say, were more Platonic than Plato. But it remains a leading line of difference between Plato and Aristotle, that Plato never gave due recognition, as Aristotle did, to the value of sense experience in the genesis of science and philosophy. St Thomas's argument here is this, that if the human mind is eternal and one, then human knowledge is eternal and one: whence it follows that, when the individual seems to be learning by the experience of his senses, he is really only recognising what is in his mind already.

Of God and His Creatures: 2.73