Unlike Meno's slave-boy, he does not now recollect something for the first time, but turns out, if Socrates' arguments are valid, to have been recollecting for some time.
But for the example that comes closest to recollection of Ideas, recollecting Simmias on seeing a picture of Simmias, to recognize this as a picture of Simmias is to be aware of the relevant link between the picture and Simmias, namely that this is a picture of Simmias.
I shall argue later, following Scott,(6) that recollection of Ideas is a lengthy process of reacquiring knowledge, so that even to think of an Idea is not all there is to recollecting it, nor is to think about an Idea to complete the process of recollecting it.
It is clear that the example of recollecting Simmias on seeing a picture of Simmias comes closest to the recollection of the Equal and other Ideas.
While others might examine the relations between the existence of Ideas, Socrates' account of learning and the recollection-thesis, only those who, like Simmias, accept that there are Ideas and have made some progress towards gaining knowledge of them, are in a position to conclude that they themselves have been recollecting.(9)
This reason, which decides the case in favour of their regaining and, for the reasons already examined, recollecting their lost knowledge, also determines that none of them, except perhaps Socrates, has succeeded in completely recollecting any Idea.
In that case the judgements that equal objects appear equal and unequal, while the Equal itself never appears unequal, would capture all that would be involved in the use of perception in recollecting the Equal itself.
I start with the use of perception in recollecting the Equal.
THE CONSEQUENCES FOR SIMMIAS OF RECOLLECTING THAT HE RECOLLECTS
Understanding of oneself as engaged in this process and thereby as recollecting gives a conception of the soul that is a ground for hope that one can steadily achieve more of this detachment.