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Analysis Of Virtue In Meno By Plato

Decent Essays
Virtue is something insurmountably perplexing but infinitely used within society. Although hard to define, Virtue seems to be a type of knowledge that depicts our moral standards. After reading Meno by Plato, I conclude that virtue can in fact, be taught. Through the Meno, Socrates converses with Meno beginning to end on what Meno believes “virtue” is. Socrates admits that he ‘knows that he does not know’ what the definition is, but he knows the process and how to find out what it may be. Through questioning and interrogation (elenchus), Socrates leads Meno and a slave boy through the socratic process of doxa, aporia, and then anamnesis. Socrates explains, “Then if the truth about reality is always in our soul, the soul would be immortal so that you should always confidently try to seek out and recollect?” (86, b). Because of this recollection (anamnesis), Socrates concludes that the soul is then immortal and is all in all, recollecting previous knowledge hidden deep within the soul.
Unlike Socrates, I do not believe that that this kind of knowledge is recollected. I feel that Socrates’ example with the slave boy does not “prove” immortality of the soul but rather, strains to answer it. Socrates elaborates that our souls are eternal because as humans, we are constantly seeking knowledge about nearly everything and that we do not know that “everything”. Seeking knowledge gives our soul a purpose, but I believe that our soul was just born with the potential to learn that
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