The Importance Of Virtue In Plato's Meno

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In Plato’s Meno, the central question in the dialogue is whether virtue can be taught. To figure this answer out, you would have to know what virtue is. Merriam -Webster dictionary states that virtue is a “conformity to a standard of right and a particular moral excellence.” Oxford dictionary states that virtue is “ a behavior showing high moral standards.” These and many other dictionaries have identical definitions showing us that there is a common ground on the definition of virtue. However, this was not a smooth task in the Platonic dialogue Meno. The story discovers that there is no precise definition to what is virtue? Virtue can be many things.
Before Meno is talked about, there needs to be some background knowledge needed to be presented
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He believes when he sees him, he’ll have the answer to what is virtue. Meno meets Socrates and asks him can virtue be taught. Socrates claims that he does not know what virtue is. He states, “Me, I’m so far from knowing whether virtue can be taught or not that I don’t even know what it is. I’m just as badly as off as my fellow citizens…”(Meno 1). Socrates is a philosophical genius and uses a method of questioning called the Socratic method to outwit or outmaneuver his challengers and to future engage in conversation or debate with people. He probably knew how the end of the conversation would resolve, but he uses this process to break down and smoothly go through the question or problem at hand. This makes Meno very frustrated and makes the conversation end after going back and forth with …show more content…
The initial definition that Meno have is that every types of person has a different type of virtue. The virtue of a woman is to do her responsibilities and be obedient to her husband. The mans virtue is to regulate his public affairs and chastise his enemies. Old, young people, and slaves have distinct virtues too. Socrates refutes this idea. He uses a bee analogy saying although there are different type of bees, they are still the same specie. Socrates says, “...Do you mean that there are all sorts of different sorts of bees insofar as they are bees? Or are they no different, insofar as they are bees, but they in other respects-in how beautiful they are…”(Meno 2). Socrates his philosophical genius to make Meno understand his

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