The Nature Of Virtue In Plato's Meno

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In Plato’s “Meno”, Meno prompts Socrates to answer a question concerning virtue and whether or not it can be taught. Socrates approaches this question with another question, which requires Meno to first define virtue. He explains to Meno that his approach is wrong and in order to answer a question about the nature of something, we must first understand what that something is. Socrates and Meno then engage in a dialogue in which they inquire into two questions: what virtue is and whether it can be taught. This style of philosophy is commonly known as the “Socratic Method” in which Socrates and his interlocutors participate in a form of inquiry in which Socrates asks questions to stimulate critical thinking. Plato uses Socrates and his Socratic Method along with other theories in his dialogues “Meno” and “Phaedo” to prove what he believes is the correct way to do philosophy.
The “Meno” dialogue focuses on Meno’s attempts to define virtue while Socrates
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Socrates’ discussion with Meno suggests that in order to gain knowledge one must first let go of any preconceived ideas and admit to our ignorance. Socrates evaluations of Meno’s attempts reveal that Meno does not know as much about the nature of virtue as he previously thought. In his first attempt he lists off different virtues that apply to different types of people: “ If you want the virtue of a woman, it’s not difficult to describe: she must manage the home well, keep the household together, and be submissive to her husband; the virtue of a child, whether boy or girl, is another thing altogether, and so is that of an elderly man – if you want that – or if you want that of a free man or a slave” (60-61). Socrates refutes this definition by pointing out that although Meno is able to give examples of what he believes are virtues, he fails to point

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