Can Virtue Be Taught? Essay

1280 Words Mar 8th, 2016 6 Pages
Can virtue be taught? The question has incessantly remained and, yet, has not been straightforwardly answered. In 1509, a transcript was written and centered on the dialog of a respectable philosopher, Socrates, and a student, Meno, of the prominent sophist, Gorgias. Through this 105-page discussion, Socrates and Meno are assumed to be tentatively discussing what virtue is, and if it can be taught. Though the duo inquire and answer several additional questions, by the end of the book, all we truly learned was that Meno’s favorite word was, certainly, and that Socrates liked indulging in long explanations that didn’t truly explain anything – and he wouldn’t shut up. And, by the end, our foremost question is still waiting to be addressed. With respect to Socrates, though, as much as I was confused and desired to fall asleep, I did learn that – in order to properly answer this inquiry – several variables come into play, which leads to this ensuing discourse. What is virtue? Can it be taught? And what is the underlying purpose behind this endeavor?
Before we can answer the residing question, we must first distinguish what virtue is. Defining virtue is often mistakenly considered as incomprehensible to many, but only due to a lack of adequate understanding. How should we understand what virtue is to be? By common dictionaries, virtue is widely defined as a positive trait or quality deemed to be morally excellent, and Merriam Webster explains virtue as the just…

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