The Definition Of Virtue In Meno's Paradox '

764 Words 4 Pages
Meno’s Paradox
Meno 's paradox questions the human’s ability to generate knowledge. According to the paradox, humans cannot learn something that they do not know. Socrates attempts to acquire knowledge about whether a given action is virtuous, without having the knowledge of what the definition of virtue is. In the paradox, Meno criticizes Socrates method of gaining knowledge. Socrates gains knowledge by questioning people what he does not know. Meno says that “one cannot discover virtue if they already know what it is, nor can one discover virtue if they don’t know what they’re looking for” (80E). However Socrates provides him with a theory citing an example of a slave boy. The example provides the possibility of human beings to gain knowledge. What Meno wanted to imply is that he himself does not understand the meaning of a virtue. The paradox contains 3 premises. First is distinct knowledge of a subject: either you understand a subject or you don’t understand the subject. Second is if you already know a subject it is impossible discover it, and third is if you don’t know the
…show more content…
According to this theory the soul is brought back in a cycle of life and death. This means the soul has to stay underworld where it learns a lot concerning the physical world. Afterwards the soul is reborn. It does not learn anything new but instead recollects the information that it knows. Socrates argument is a bit interesting as he does not say Meno is wrong about attainment of knowledge. What he wants to imply is that we already know everything about everything. His theory of recollection is convincing and worth believing. The way he seems to prove that the soul is immortal and it has learnt everything. Therefore the soul can recollect everything including the virtue because it knew it before. However the theory can be disapproved since he bases his theory that the soul learns things while it is

Related Documents

Related Topics