The Meno, Socrates And Meno

1586 Words7 Pages
In the Meno, Socrates and Meno discuss the nature of virtue, the process of acquiring knowledge, and also the concept of the teachability of virtue. Throughout the text, Meno suggests many varying definitions for virtue, all of which Socrates is able to dismantle. The point is also raised that it may be impossible to know about something that was not previously understood, because the searcher would have no idea what to be looking for. To dispute this, Socrates makes a point that all knowledge is innate, and the process of “learning” is really just recollecting knowledge that is buried deeply within the human mind. The issue of the teachability of virtue is an important theme in this dialogue because it raises points about whether virtue is knowledge, which then leads to the issue of knowledge in general. When Socrates and Meno are trying to deduce the qualities and definition of virtue, one of their results is that virtue must be a kind of wisdom. Socrates makes the claim that “virtue is something in the soul and it must be beneficial, it must be knowledge, since all the qualities of the should are in themselves neither beneficial nor harmful, but accompanied by wisdom or folly they become harmful or beneficial. This argument shows that virtue, being beneficial, must be a kind of wisdom” (88c-d). In this claim, Socrates is assuming that only wisdom and folly are the culprits to making elements of the soul harmful or beneficial. Since Socrates also claims that virtue
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