Platoʼs ʻMenoʼ Part: 3

Part 3:

In part three Socrates and Meno take a different approach to the true definition of virtue. They ask themselves what could o could not be to form a hypothesis. This to me is an interesting way to approach the situation since you can form an idea what could possibly be what you’re seeking.

“In the same way with regard to our question about virtue, since we do not know either what it is or what kind of thing it may be, we had best make use of a hypothesis in considering whether it can be taught or not, as thus: what kind of thing must virtue be in the class of mental properties, so as to be teachable or not? In the first place, if it is something dissimilar or similar to knowledge, is it taught or not—or, as we were saying just now, remembered? Let us have no disputing about the choice of a name: is it taught? Or is not this fact plain to everyone—that the one and only thing taught to men is knowledge?”

Then in part three they asked a question to which I still don’t know if anyone has a true answer, they talked about men and if they were good by nature or by education.

“No, for then, I presume, we should have had this result: if good men were so by nature, we surely should have had men able to discern who of the young were good by nature, and on their pointing them out we should have taken them over and kept them safe in the citadel, having set our mark on them far rather than on our gold treasure, in order that none might have tampered with them, and that when they came to be of age, they might be useful to their country.”

And I don’t know if I fully agree with this I could argue that we are all good by nature or at birth  but our experiences and education it’s what can corrupt us of from us as “better” people.



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