Socrates And Meno Analysis

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The dialogue between Socrates and Meno revolve around a fundamental issue: whether virtue can be taught. However, Socrates indicates that it is unfeasible to answer this question without knowing what virtue really is. He is interested in knowing the intrinsic nature of a virtue and what makes all instances of virtue, virtuous. In other words, the reason why something is a virtue. Although Meno produces his first faulty definition when he says, “If you want the virtue of man, it is easy to say that a man’s virtue consists of being able to manage public affairs…, and be submissive to her husband” (71e), it still does not answer Socrates’ question. Meno provides virtuous examples, but not the definition of virtue. Being able to manage public affairs, and managing the home well are virtues, but what is common about all of them? Merely specifying these different types does not tell us what virtue itself is. Using the metaphor …show more content…
Meno produces a second definition in which he claims that virtue is “to be able to rule” (73d), but is considered incomplete because, without justice, the ability to rule over others has the potential to transform into a tyranny. No virtuous feature is considered good without justice. Although justice is a virtue, it is not virtue itself. Even so, the ability to rule does not encompass children and slaves, therefore the definition is too narrow. Meno’s last description of virtue is “to desire beautiful things and have the power to acquire them” (77b). His statement reveals an inconsistency because each person desires different things. People who striving for bad things are not seeking bad things if they misconstrued them to be good. However, there are people who covet unpleasant things, despite knowing that they are wrong. Therefore, Meno’s descriptions cannot be considered as an adequate definition of

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