Comparison Of Virtue In Mano In Plato's Meno

1918 Words 8 Pages
In Plato’s Meno, Meno begins with the question, “Can you tell me, Socrates, can virtue be taught? Or is it not teachable but the result of practice, or is it neither of these, but men possess it by nature or in some other way?" (70a). Afterward, Socrates answers the way he usually does by replying with questions back to Meno in order to achieve a conclusion where virtue can be taught. Virtue is moral excellence or "arête", and the innate characteristic of each individual. In the end of the Meno, both Socrates and Meno conclude and agree that virtue cannot be taught at all. On the other side of the spectrum, in Plato’s Protagoras, Socrates and Protagoras debate on the topic of whether virtue can be taught as well. In the end of the dialogue, …show more content…
To begin the Protagoras, a friend and Socrates chat, then Hippocrates comes along. Hippocrates wants to become wise and wants to study under Protagoras, a Sophist. Socrates goes with Hippocrates where Protagoras is. Socrates questions why Hippocrates wants to learn from him but has no real answer, therefore, Socrates questions Protagoras to discover what he knows and teaches to his disciples/pupils. In the dialogue between Socrates and Protagoras, each questions the other on whether virtue can be taught. Protagoras begins by speaking on what he teaches to his students, which is the topic of politics and managing personal affairs. He goes to explain the creation of the world because Socrates questions whether a subject can truly be taught. Afterward, Protagoras concludes that virtue is teachable to any man due to political systems are based on citizens possessing some type of virtue. Towards the end of the dialogue, Protagoras suggests courage, holiness, wisdom, temperance and justice are basically all forms of virtue. Yet, Socrates explains that virtue is another word for knowledge, therefore, virtue must be teachable. Ending the Protagoras, readers are not given a clear statement of whether virtue can be taught, meaning it still needs to be cleared …show more content…
In the Meno, Socrates rejects all the definitions of virtue provided by Meno. Without any clear definition, you cannot teach virtue to anyone because you don’t know what it is. In addition, Socrates explains there are no teachers or learners of virtue in Athens, therefore meaning virtue cannot be taught or learned. Meno and Socrates also discuss the great virtuous men of Athens but have failed to translate and teach being virtuous to their own sons. In the last argument in the Meno, virtue is a gift from the gods and there’s no clear understanding of it. With this uncertainty, you don’t exactly know what virtue is, therefore, it cannot be taught. Within the Protagoras, readers are not given a clear account of what virtue is. Socrates and Protagoras keep arguing, but Protagoras have failed to have a concrete idea of what virtue is. In this case, virtue ultimately cannot be

Related Documents