The Paradox Of Inquiry In Plato's Meno

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In the Meno, Plato tries to define virtue (arete), meaning virtue in general and not just particular virtues like justice or temperance, by going over three central philosophical questions regarding this topic which are if it’s taught or inborn, if we can know it before actually undergoing it, and finally the distinction between having the knowledge of it and having the exact correct belief of it. While searching for the truth, Meno challenges the possibility of inquiry by asking those questions about knowing and not knowing and providing supporting arguments against that possibility, turning the dialogue into a profound discussion (Fine, The Possibility of Inquiry: Meno’ Paradox from Socrates to Sextus, 1). He even suspects knowledge recollection. This deep discussion is what is known as “Meno’s Paradox, or Paradox of Inquiry” (Westacott,…show more content…
The fallacy of equivocation occurs when a tem is used in several possible senses within a single argument. For example, if we take this sentence “fine for parking here” we can understand it in two ways. Either we understand this sentence as it is “fine” meaning acceptable to park in this spot or as you get a “fined” if you park in this spot, which makes the spot unacceptable for parking. Meno’s sentence stated above can be understood as either you know the question you want the answer to or you know the answer to the question you’re asking, so there’s an equivocation problem. If we understand this sentence as a known question we want an answer to, then inquiry is impossible since we don’t know what we are looking for but inquiry is not unnecessary., as a known answer to the question we’re asking, then inquiry is unnecessary since we know what we’re looking for but inquiry is not impossible. There’s no sense in both arguments presented by Meno, which are inquiry is unnecessary and impossible at the same
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