If virtue could be taught there would be teachers of virtue. ANYTUS: Yes certainly,—if he wanted to be so. 72b-73d Socrates' rejection: bee and swarm analogy. 3,083. vanorsow. In this sense, virtue cannot be taught in the same way that musicality cannot be taught. Will Meno tell him his own notion, which is probably not very different from that of Gorgias? When it becomes clear that Meno is bringing little to the ideas formulated, then the conclusions lose power, from something utually discovered by two thinkers, to ideas formulated by one man and shared with another.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'benjaminbarber_org-large-mobile-banner-1','ezslot_14',111,'0','0'])); It is Socrates final conclusion that neither he nor Meno has found the true meaning of virtue. Reading. For Meno, at the beginning of the discussion, was sure in his knowledge of virtue. And so the men run into a problem when they attempt to identify who the true teachers of virtue are. SOCRATES: And did not he train his son Lysimachus better than any other Athenian in all that could be done for him by the help of masters? One possibility was that they were born that way; they’re just naturally good. Whereby the slave boy could have simply deduced the correct answer, having seen the consequences of his previous answers. The teaching of the Sophists is confessedly inadequate, and Meno, who is their pupil, is ignorant of the very nature of general terms. Socrates allows that they do not yet even know what virtue is, but ventures to determine whether it be learned or not. Yes, Socrates had met him, but he has a bad memory, and has forgotten what Gorgias said. And Meno at this point wishes to know if it is something that can be taught or attained by other means. This passage raises questions about the nature of virtue and the nature of education: To learn more about Plato and the Meno, please see the following links: The Daily Idea aims to make learning about philosophy as easy as possible by bringing together the best philosophy resources from across the internet. He is an acquaintance of yours, and you see what he is like. This week’s reading is about whether virtue can be taught. Nay, he must have wished it. Socrates response comes with surprise because at the end of this discussion he states that virtue is a kind of knowledge, and since it is like knowledge then it can be taught… But there aren't any. Certainly, it cannot be said that Meno has discovered virtue, but he is one step closer. Now, Meno has come up with three definitions of "virtue," each of which appears to be defective. As such, all knowledge is clearly not recollection. These flaws make it so that the conclusions made by Socrates do not follow logically and as such, his conclusions cannot e said to be logical. He does not use inquiry to determine the answers he seeks and as such shows that over the course of the dialogue, he has in fact determined nothing, while Socrates has come upon everything, making Meno a poor Socratic thinker. Virtue is knowledge, and therefore virtue can be taught. When the boy suggests the length of the lines be doubled to four to make a square of eight, Socrates immediately speaks with Meno and asks if he is correct , to which Meno replies that the boy is wrong in his ssumption. However, every type of teachable subject must have instructors. Part I. Now you may have noticed that there are some good people, or as Socrates would say, virtuous people, and there are some not so good people, or as I would say, arseholes. However, this leads to a new question that must be answered before a conclusion can be … organized collection of 400+ articles, podcasts, and videos, Can virtue be taught? Meno has difficulty, since virtue takes on different meanings over time, and across cultures. After exhausting all definitions he has for what virtue is, all of them being countered by Socrates and determined to be inadequate definitions, one of the problems Meno then has with understanding what virtue is omes from this paradox: How can you try to find out something, when you have no notion at all about what it is? Socrates was then about sixty-seven years old, and had long been famous for his difficult questions about virtue and knowledge. Will you reply that he was a mean man, and had not many friends among the Athenians and allies? This theory purports that inquiry can be impossible in some instances, but what is seen to be learning is in fact the recollection of something previously known. Socrates replies that he does not as yet know what virtue is, and has never known anyone who did. And if he just spent a whole dialogue guiding Meno to that conclusion, then he has just led him along the path to wisdom. Do you remember them? In this passage Socrates presents an argument that maybe virtue just cannot be taught. Proceeding with the conversation between Meno and Socrates, the answer as to what virtue is has yet to be found. Socrates claims. Socrates' proof that some of our knowledge is innate 3. But what has been the result? What is Virtue? SOCRATES: Here was a teacher of virtue whom you admit to be among the best men of the past. We've been considering Socrates' approach in the Meno to the comprehensive question, "What is virtue?" o which the boy replies no, it is four times. A History of Western Philosophy in 500 Essential Quotations is a collection of the greatest thoughts from history’s greatest thinkers. And as Meno states, he has a numbing effect on those around him, such that they might not even notice his failings until a later examination. 'O yes—nothing easier: there is the virtue of a man, of a woman, of an old man, and of a … Once more, I suspect, friend Anytus, that virtue is not a thing which can be taught? Which, if he is right, is a wise thing to say. Another possibility is that they were taught to be virtuous. Socrates protests, saying there must be some element of virtue that is common to everyone. One obviously cannot both know and not know the same thing. By the same token, Meno cannot know what virtue is, if he does not know what virtue is not. 'Then he cannot have met Gorgias when he was at Athens.' The Meno progresses as it does, due in no small part because Meno himself is poor at what he does.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'benjaminbarber_org-leader-1','ezslot_13',110,'0','0'])); He asks Socrates on several occasions for answers, what do you say colour is? There are no teachers of virtue therefore no pupils and thus no one is able to correctly teach virtue even though there may be claims that they can, they cannot. Determining the answer to that will give you knowledge you did not previously have, and could not previously have. The first part of Meno is dedicated to this question, because Socrates believes that the question “can virtue be taught?” cannot be answered without a clear definition of virtue. So if virtue is a type of knowledge, then this would seem to suggest that virtue can be taught. The following passage is from section 93a – 94e of Plato’s Meno, translation by Benjamin Jowett. Can virtue be taught? The following passage is from section 93a – 94e of Plato’s Meno, translation by Benjamin Jowett. In this dialogue, a wealthy young aristocrat called Meno asks Socrates if it is possible to teach virtue. And that you may not suppose the incompetent teachers to be only the meaner sort of Athenians and few in number, remember again that Thucydides had two sons, Melesias and Stephanus, whom, besides giving them a good education in other things, he trained in wrestling, and they were the best wrestlers in Athens: one of them he committed to the care of Xanthias, and the other of Eudorus, who had the reputation of being the most celebrated wrestlers of that day. Meno asks Socrates to go back and elaborate if virtue itself can really be taught. By using this hypothesis, not only has Socrates answered Meno's original question, he … In the video below, I pose the question about whether virtue can be taught and then proceed to explore a collection of ancient sources that address the question of virtue and whether or not it can be taught. Meno claims. It is thought by Meno that men cannot be taught anything but knowledge, therefore, virtue must be a kind of knowledge in order to be taught. But virtue is not taught, and therefore in this higher and ideal sense there is no virtue and no knowledge. What Socrates does achieve is in determining that he himself has not come upon a teacher of virtue in personal experience, which is certainly not a philosophical discovery and cannot be said to prove his point. Meno asks Socrates to go back and elaborate if virtue itself can really be taught. It ends with the conclusion, stated by Socrates, that it is a gift from the gods. This Dialogue begins abruptly with a question of Meno, who asks, 'whether virtue can be taught.' This was created in refutation to the 2500 year old Socratic claim stated in the dialogue Protagoras in which Socrates concludes that virtue can indeed be taught. The Meno is a philosophical fiction, based on real people who took part in important historical events. Though Socrates puts forth an admirable effort to support his recollection theory, there is a flaw in his argument. 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