Plato Part 5

The fifth part mainly talks about the conclusions of Socrates and Meno. The conclusion is that virtue is Granted by God. I don’t think that virtue is God’s gift to us. Because virtue does not belong to our human instinct. Instinct refers to what the subconscious will do. For example, when we were born, we will cry. For example, when something comes to our eyes quickly, we will close our eyes subconsciously. These are called instinct. And virtue is guided by the day after tomorrow. Why do I say guidance rather than teaching, because no one in the world can teach virtue. Human nature is greedy and selfish. Even a person like the captain of the United States will withdraw from the Avengers for friends. So I think that Socrates said that virtue cannot be taught. But we can be guided to know the virtues. Because this is a human culture, when we were young, we were instilled by our parents what is good and what is a concept of evil. And our parents were also instilled with the same ideas by their parents when they were young. Like some residents living in Iraq, some of them have been in contact with war since childhood, so they are more numb to life and death.

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
shades.” In the same way he on earth, in respect of virtue, will be a real substance among shadows.

I think that this passage is not correct in some respects. Socrates believes that if there is a truly knowledgeable politician, he can teach a politician like him. I think everyone is unique. Even if the politician teaches a person to let him completely copy his thoughts and ways of doing things, that person will not eventually become him. Because this society is like a bottle of ink, a person is like a piece of white paper, and that person will eventually enter the society and blacken the white paper.

3 thoughts on “Plato Part 5”

  1. I also don’t think virtue can be taught, but we can be guided to find virtue. In fact, we will be affected by our environment, so we can’t find virtue correctly.

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