Meno response part 1

Something that struck me as interesting is the way that virtue is relative from person to person. Meno says that the virtue of a woman is different than that of a man, and that the virtue of a slave is different from the virtue of a free man. Socrates responds that all these examples of virtue must share something universally. I think virtue that everyone should have is honesty and kindness, though this idea does make some sense, it is quite outdated.

Meno then says that virtue is the ability to rule men. He is defining virtue as the ability to fulfill one’s purpose (a slave to work, a soldier to kill in battle etc.) He says the ultimate virtue of men is happiness and the satisfaction of desires, which are mostly made up of being powerful. Socrates responds by saying being powerful can only be virtuous if it is just, which I completely agree with, as virtue is good and moral qualities in a person.

Meno’s third reason is that virtue is the ability to desire and acquire nice things. Socrates says that everyone desires what they think is good or beautiful, it matters in how they acquire such goods. Meno then agrees that it is only a virtue if the good is acquired in the good way. I can agree with this since people have desires, as I do, but it all comes down to how you acquire it.

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