At the beginning of Meno part 5, Meno and Socrates still discuss about is virtue teachable or not, and they concluded that virtue is not teachable. The people who consider themselves as the teacher of virtue, but just like Meno, they may don’t know anything about virtue, therefore there is no real teacher of virtue, no teacher means no people study virtue, it is unteachable.
At the end of part 5, they came to a conclusion that virtue is neither inherent nor acquired, it came from some sort of divine power.
Then the result of our reasoning, Meno, is found to be that virtue comes to us by a divine dispensation, when it does come. But the certainty of this we shall only know when, before asking in what way virtue comes to mankind, we set about inquiring what virtue is, in and by itself. It is time now for me to go my way, but do you persuade our friend Anytus of that whereof you are now yourself persuaded, so as to put him in a gentler mood; for if you can persuade him, you will do a good turn to the people of Athens also.(47)
But at the end of the Meno, they still did figure out what is virtue.
One thought on “Meno part 5”
Jiajun, I am impressed with your efforts to read and understand a difficult text in English, and then to think about the questions raised and offer your own thoughts about them. Well done!