Theme Of Virtue In Plato's The Meno

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A central theme in Plato’s The Meno is virtue. It is approached through posing two questions: How does one acquire virtue? And what exactly is virtue? Meno poses the question “can virtue be taught?” (70a) Meno’s goal is to understand how one can acquire virtue, but Socrates inquires as to what virtue is. Meno attempts a few definitions of virtue, which Socrates deems inaccurate through the usage of the elenchus, where he dissects each suggestion to show Meno that it does not hold all the properties needed to construct a definition.

Meno gives examples of what virtue is for different types of people and poses the idea that virtue is the ability to rule over other people, implying that virtue is power, but Socrates does not want examples of
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If our souls have in fact learned all things then they have grasped the definitions and forms of Virtue and other concepts in our world, meaning we already have those definitions ingrained within us. Socrates, in most of his dialogues seems to focus on the forms of things, despite his arguing that our souls already know them. He thereby nullifies his argument for the importance of constructing a definition before proceeding to tackle issues using a concept. If one is to follow Socrates “immortal soul” theory then Meno need not fear an inability to look for virtue, because the knowledge of what it is lies within his soul. If learning is remembering what our souls already know, seeing virtue or virtuous endeavours should (if one is to follow Socrates theory) stir a recollection in the soul of those who witness it. That is why Socrates exclusion of examples from the definition of a concept is faulty. Assuming that the memory of our souls works in a similar way to our own, presenting examples (visual, auditory, theoretical or otherwise) should stir the soul’s

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