Unteachability Of Virtue Analysis

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Teachibililty and Unteachability of Virtue

“Virtue, according to the Stoicism Model of Philosophy, is a single thing, and the individual virtues are its parts.” In Plato’s dialogue Protagoras, Protagoras both begins and ends on the subject of the teachability and unteachability of virtue. Socrates questions Protagoras, the sophist, on the teachability of virtue. The latter in the argument argues that virtue can in fact be passed on, as well as the former arguing the opposition. Initially, it begins with Socrates appearing skeptical as to whether virtue is teachable, but later argues that it can be taught. Whereas Protagoras 's situation is reversed, as he begins his argument by defending the teachability of virtue and ends up questioning
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In cases involving an unvirtuous child, the child may have just had a bad teacher, who exhibited good character, but was ultimately unaware of how to properly teach another. The reverse occurs in incidents where the child turns out virtuous, they in turn may have had an excellent teacher. Protagoras attempts to further his point of view by providing an argument involving an entire city of flute - players. All of the members of the city would teach each other to the best of their ability how to play the flute and Protagoras explains his point by stating “In many cases, the son of a good player would turn out to be a poor one, and the son of the poor player would turn out to be good.” (Protagoras. 327c) The flute - playing analogy symbolizes that a person has the ability to master a talent, but not all people have the ability to properly teach another a talent due to the differences in skill levels. One does not automatically equal the other. This argument also defends the case as to why good, virtuous people have bad children. It is not the activity of virtue that is unteachable, but people teach at various skill …show more content…
Socrates and Protagoras have different concepts when it comes to defining what makes a good citizen. Socrates states that Protagoras operates with an unexamined notion of virtue and one should attempt to decipher the text as a clarification and analysis, rather than an explanation. Protagoras’ defense for Socrates’ argument merely states that there are teachers of virtue with various skill sets. Protagoras’ ability to refute Socrates’ first premise enabled him to contend that just because someone is virtuous, it is not an instinctive drive to be able to teach virtue, or that they will produce virtuous children. It concludes ultimately with Socrates and Protagoras switching opinions. Socrates now defends the view that virtue is knowledgeable and in turn, teachable, whereas his latter, now denies the plausibility that virtue is knowledge and should not be teachable, even though he claims that he himself is able to do

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