After Anyuts leaves, Socrates further finds the teacher of virtue, but Meno is skeptical of anyone who might be this kind of teacher. Therefore,they decide that virtue cannot be taught if no teachers and no disciples. Then, Meno asks about how the good people come to exist. For this question, Socrates comes to realize that knowledge is not the only way to guide useful behaviors.
Hence true opinion is as good a guide to rightness of action as knowledge; and this is a
point we omitted just now in our consideration of the nature of virtue, when we stated that
knowledge is the only guide of right action; whereas we find there is also true opinion.
So it seems.
Then right opinion is just as useful as knowledge.
Socrates begins to think about the relationship between the real knowledge as well as the correct opinion, and he also takes an example about the way to Larisa to reveal his points. In order to make the whole thing more clearly, Socrates also distinguish the differences between the knowledge and right opinion by using the image of Daedalus to further deduce the consecution( fast with casual reasoning-recollection-fasten-true opinion to knowledge).
For these, so long as they stay with us, are a fine possession, and effect all that is
good; but they do not care to stay for long, and run away out of the human soul, and thus
are of no great value until one makes them fast with causal reasoning. And this process,
friend Meno, is recollection, as in our previous talk we have agreed. But when once they
are fastened, in the first place they turn into knowledge, and in the second, are abiding.
And this is why knowledge is more prized than right opinion: the one transcends the other
by its trammels.
Upon my word, Socrates, it seems to be very much as you say.
And indeed I too speak as one who does not know but only conjectures: yet that there is a
difference between right opinion and knowledge is not at all a conjecture with me but
something I would particularly assert that I knew: there are not many things of which I
would say that, but this one, at any rate, I will include among those that I know.
Moreover, on the basis of knowing correct opinion is as good as knowledge，Socrates and Meno try to reason again to think about the main question about virtue. Firstly，they make sure that good man must be useful cannot be good nature，then they resay that virtue is a kind of knowledge but there are no teachers of virtue（virtue is not teachable not a kind of knowledge）So they substitute the right guides into this discussion and confirm knowledge is not the base and make the concept of godsend.
Then we shall be right in calling those divine of whom we spoke just now as soothsayers and prophets and all of the poetic turn; and especially we can say of the statesmen that they are divine and enraptured, as being inspired and possessed of God when they succeed in speaking many great things, while knowing nought of what they say.
And the women too, I presume, Meno, call good men divine; and the Spartans, when they eulogize a good man, say—“He is a divine person.”
And to all appearance, Socrates, they are right; though perhaps our friend Anytus may be annoyed at your statement.
For my part, I care not. As for him, Meno, we will converse with him some other time. At the moment, if through all this discussion our queries and statements have been correct, virtue is found to be neither natural nor taught, but is imparted to us by a divine dispensation without understanding in those who receive it, unless there should be somebody among the statesmen capable of making a statesman of another. And if there should be any such, he might fairly be said to be among the living what Homer says Teiresias was among the dead—“He alone has comprehension; the rest are flitting
Platoʼs ʻMenoʼ, tr. W.R.M. Lamb • Page 46 of 47
shades.”31 In the same way he on earth, in respect of virtue, will be a real substance among shadows.
Finally，Socrates suggests that it is like a divine thing for all these good peraon to reflect to express their good power but they dont know what exactly it is. In conclusion，virtue comes to us by a divine dispensation.
One thought on “Part5 Meno”
I think Rainy’s content is very good, but this post is too long, and there are too many references, which makes me feel that I may be revisiting part 5. I think Rainy can properly reduce some of the content and put it in the important way, so that I can read it more easily as a reader.