Virtue In Plato's Meno

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Plato’s Meno directs a majority of its attention towards what the meaning of what virtue truly is. Meno gives the readers many different meaning of what virtue could be, but Socrates always challenges his definitions. There are various reasons as to why Socrates contests Meno’s answers. Socrates is looking for an explanation of what virtue is that helps demonstrates what the idea of knowledge truly means, and that will show us what we do and do not know. Socrates first challenges Meno with the question of what virtue is, and whether or not it is taught, learned from practice or developed through nature. Meno gives the idea that many kinds of virtue exist, based on different people, but Socrates counters that there must be a definition of …show more content…
Socrates is trying to make us question the ideas and definitions that we think we know, and furthermore, show us and Meno that we do not even know how to develop knowledge itself. If knowledge can be taught, then there must be teachers that already have that knowledge. But, all instructors known to be great and who gave others knowledge, had sons who were unmoral. Meaning, that if everything can be taught, then everyone would have wisdom. If those great teachers were able to teach other’s what virtue is, then they would have given their sons that wisdom, which they did not. This proves that knowledge, wisdom, and therefore virtue cannot be …show more content…
He does not want Meno to just list examples of different types of virtue, but to give a definition that explains the common ground between all the examples. As well, Socrates wants an outcome that describes virtue in a non-ambiguous way. His definition should intertwine the idea that virtue is wisdom. Since virtue cannot be learned, then knowledge and virtue must be already present within someone through nature. Socrates believes that all the knowledge that we acquire is endowed inside of us since birth. If one has wisdom, Socrates says, “The wise soul directs them right, the foolish soul wrongly? – That is so” (pg. 22). This means that if one is born with knowledge and wisdom already inside of them, then one’s soul should direct them to what is good, to what is virtuous. Therefore, the knowledge of one’s definition of virtue will depend on whether one’s soul is lead by wisdom or

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