All posts by Haruki

Are there universal moral values?

I don’t think we have universal moral values because of different cultures and everyone has a different personality.  I think the universal moral values vary greatly depending on the environment in which they were born and raised. For example, if you grow up in a wealthy family, you will think that theft is bad, but if you grow up in a poor, you will think that theft is inevitable to live.


After I read Stephen’s Guide to Logical Fallacies, I think logic is a very useful tool. In simple terms, I understood that “the flow of thought until a conclusion is reached”.

In Stephen’s Guide to Logical Fallacies, there is some example,

  1. Fred, the Australian, stole my wallet. Thus, all Australians are thieves. (Of course, we shouldn’t judge all Australians on the basis of one example.)

I think this is very exaggerated and not logical. The good logical analogy is “This store is always lined up” → “It must be popular” But both can be said to be logical because there is a way to get results.

“This store is always lined up” → “It must be popular”

“Australian store my wallet” → “All Australian are thieves”

Meno 5

After reading Meno part 5, Socrates decides nobody can’t teach virtue. Menon asks that excellent people know the virtue, but Socrates denies it. Menon then asks if even the existence of a “person with virtue” would be denied. Socrates pointed out that they had not realized that virtue was not only guided by “knowledge”. 

In part 4, he said knowledge is a virtue but he thinks it not correct.

Socrates said the “excellent person” is the “beneficial person”, and the reason for its “beneficial” is that we “lead” correctly, but we thought that it was done only by “knowledge”. State that it was not. Socrates points out that “knowledge” is not something that is born. Menon agrees. Socrates pointed out that “excellent people” are not as good as they were born. Menon agrees. 

And they come to the conclusion that virtue is the grace of God. I felt that meno hadn’t understood until the end. It was too hard to understand for English is not the first language people. However, they didn’t understand the essence of virtue.


Meno 3,4

After reading part 3 and 4, I’m really happy about part 4 is short reading. In part 3, they are talking about “What is a virtue” again but this time Meno asks Socrates to answer the “What is a virtue”. Socrate also doesn’t know what is virtue means so, considering what kind of property it is. Socrates said that “virtue” is knowledge, but if virtue is knowledge, he said it would be strange that no one could be taught.

In part 4, Socrates more think about virtue is knowledge or not so, he decided to look for a “virtue teacher” but there is nobody who can teach. Socrates thought that if he or she was a good person, he would excel at “teaching others’ virtues”. So he took Temist Cres as an example and he said that if his son was as good as him, virtue could be taught. However, his son is not better than him, Socrate said, ‘Virtue is nobody teach”


Well, is it not obvious that this father would never have spent his money on having his children taught all those things, and then have omitted to teach them at no expense the others that would have made them good men, if virtue was to be taught? Will you say that perhaps Thucydides was one of the meaner sort, and had no great number of friends among the Athenians and allies? He, who was of a great house and had much influence in our city and all over Greece, so that if virtue were to be taught he would have found out the man who was likely to make his sons good, whether one of our own people or a foreigner, were he himself too busy owing to the cares of state! Ah no, my dear Anytus, it looks as though virtue were not a teachable thing. 

In this paragraph, I think this is a really good example of “Why nobody can’t teach virtue” .

Meno 2

After I finished reading Meno part 2, I find a Socrates is not that much talking about “what is a virtue” He is talking about soul and squares. He uses a lot of examples to Meno and finally he accept his idea. 

I think part two is more easy to understand than part one but It made me think more. When I am reading part two, I felt that common sense was denied because Socrates was told that the soul was immortal, or that “a square with a double area is supposed to have a double side”. It made me confused.

They say that the soul of man is immortal, and at one time comes to an end, which is called dying, and at another is born again, but never perishes. Consequently one ought to live all one’s life in the utmost holiness. For from whomsoever Persephone shall accept requital for ancient wrong,6 the souls of these she restores in the ninth year to the upper sun again; from them arise glorious kings and men of splendid might and surpassing wisdom, and for all remaining time are they called holy heroes amongst mankind. Seeing then that the soul is immortal and has been born many times, and has beheld all things both in this world and in the nether realms, she has acquired knowledge of all and everything; so that it is no wonder that she should be able to recollect all that she knew before about virtue and other things.


I thought Socrates’s idea was interesting because he believed that the soul was immortal, believing in the existence of a soul that was unknown. I thought it was a really interesting idea.

Meno part 1

After I read part one, I found Meno always asking about “What is a virtue” to Socrates. 

Socrates gives an example of what is a virtue to Meno but he wants Socrates to accept his answer. I feel Meno is really thought he knows everything so, Meno can’t accept his answer and he thinks the teacher knows everything. And they continue to argue, but the change from virtue to talk of “what is good”, “what is evil” and “Why people do evil things”.

Meno makes me think a lot and really hard to understand what they talking about.

Especially pages 5-6 were confusing me.

No, indeed, it would be unlikely, my excellent friend. And again, consider this further point:
you say it is “to be able to govern”; shall we not add to that—“justly, not unjustly”?
Yes, I think so; for justice, Socrates, is virtue.
Virtue, Meno, or a virtue?
What do you mean by that?
What I would in any other case. To take roundness, for instance; I should call it a figure,
and not figure pure and simple. And I should name it so because there are other figures as
You would be quite right—just as I say there are other virtues besides justice.
What are they? Tell me. In the same way as I can tell you of other figures, if you request
me, so do you tell me of other virtues.
Well then, courage, I consider, is a virtue, and temperance, and wisdom, and loftiness of
mind; and there are a great many others.
Once more, Meno, we are in the same plight: again we have found a number of virtues when we were looking for one, though not in the same way as we did just now; but the one that runs through them all, this we are not able to find.

No, for I am not yet able, Socrates, to follow your line of search, and find a single virtue
common to all, as one can in other cases.
And no wonder; but I will make an effort, so far as I can, to help us onward. You
understand, of course, that this principle of mine applies to everything: if someone asked
you the question I put to you just now: What is figure, Meno? and you replied: Roundness;
and then he said, as I did: Is roundness figure or a figure? I suppose you would answer: A
And for this reason—that there are other figures as well?
Platoʼs ʻMenoʼ, tr. W.R.M. Lamb • Page 5 of 47
And if he went on to ask you of what sort they were, you would tell him?
I would.
And if he asked likewise what color is, and on your answering “white” your questioner then
rejoined: Is “white” color or a color? your reply would be: A color; because there are other
colors besides.
It would.
And if he bade you mention other colors, you would tell him of others that are colors just as
much as white?
Now suppose that, like me, he pursued the argument and said: We are always arriving at a
variety of things, but let me have no more of that: since you call these many things by one
single name, and say they are figures, every one of them, even when they are opposed to
one another, tell me what is that which comprises round and straight alike, and which you
call figure—including straight equally with round under that term. For that is your
statement, is it not?
It is.
And in making it, do you mean to say that round is no more round than straight, or straight
no more straight than round?
No, to be sure, Socrates.
What you mean is that the round shape is no more a figure than the straight, or the straight
than the round.
Quite right.

Because they change the topic so, I get really confused.