Socrates Explanation Of Teaching: Plato's Crition With Meno

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In the following I will summarize Socrates ' discussion with Meno: whether virtue can be taught. The argument begins as Meno asks Socrates whether virtue can be taught. Socrates answers by reminding Meno that Meno 's own countrymen, the Thessalians, have recently gained a reputation for wisdom, due chiefly to the rising fame of Gorgias. Gorgias, Socrates says, has taught people "To give a bold and grand answer to any question you may be asked, as experts are likely to do." Athenians, on the other hand, do not claim to be able to answer such questions, says Socrates, noting that he himself is certainly among the ignorant. We should note that Socrates ' modesty here is somewhat false, at least in the context of the dialogue that is to follow. …show more content…
Using this concept, and quoting Pindar along the way, Socrates defines color as "An effluvium from shapes which fits the sight and is perceived." The main contrast highlighted here is between Socrates ' simple, direct account and the "Theatrical" accounts of Gorgias and the Sophists. In return for these definitions, Meno makes a fourth attempt at defining virtue: using a literary quote, he says that virtue is "To desire beautiful things and and have the power to acquire them." Like his idea about virtue as the power to rule this definition is quickly broken down by Socrates ' questions. Socrates points out that some men desire bad things, and further that they do not know these things to be bad. "What else is being miserable," he asks, "But to desire bad things and secure them ?" Meno 's most recent definition amounts to virtue as "The power of securing good things." Even this is not enough for Socrates who points out that the acquisition of good things is only good if it is done "Justly and

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