Meno: Plato Essay

825 words - 3 pages

"Socrates, can virtue be taught?"1 The dialogue begins with Meno asking Socrates whether virtue can be taught. At the end of the Meno (86d-100b), Socrates attempts to answer the question. This question is prior to the division between opinion and knowledge and provides to unsettle both. Anytus participated in Socrates and Meno conversation about virtue. Socrates claims that if virtue is a kind of knowledge, then it can be learned. If it is something besides a kind of knowledge, it perceptibly cannot be taught.

Virtue is a particular moral excellence, a beneficial quality, or power of a thing, and masculine strength or courage. At the end of the Meno, Socrates states that the hypothesis, "if knowledge is virtue, it can be taught." 1 The method of hypothesis, I believe is if virtue is x, then it can be taught. Therefore, x = knowledge. Socrates progressively shows us that knowledge is recollection. Socrates suggests that if ones want to gain knowledge of the inspiration of virtue, there should be an educator who has an answer of what virtue is. The examination of this proposition is that "Is virtue knowledge? If so, there are teachers and pupils of it." However, it is impossible for him to find a teacher of virtue. The explanation that Socrates suddenly comes up with the idea of a teacher of virtue is that he said, "It would be reasonable to send him to those who practice the craft rather than those who do not." 1 Based on his reply, it is understandable, and logical that it is factual. There has to be a connoisseur who truthfully recognizes what virtue is. Nevertheless, at the end of Meno (89e-96c), Anytus explains that there are no teachers and learners of virtue.

As Meno mentions earlier in the text, there are many dissimilar virtues amongst different kinds of people, man and woman, child and elder, slave, and prisoner. However, Socrates is interested in true virtue, which should be the same as everyone. This extensive perception of virtue may include such precise virtue as courage, wisdom, or moderation, but it should be possible to offer a perfectly general description of virtue as a whole, the skill or ability to be fully human. It is impossible for each human being to have the same virtue because everyone created unequally.

In the conclusion, Socrates explains virtue is a gift from the gods that everyone should have it. An alternation to saying virtue is knowledge. Based on the...

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