Weaknesses Of Plato

1262 Words6 Pages
In the Meno, Plato justifies the possibility for one’s mind to uncover knowledge. Knowing one can obtain knowledge motivates the mind to gain more knowledge. Plato explains the theory of recollection by first questioning what virtue is, then demonstrating the process through the questioning of a slave boy. Although a few weaknesses present themselves in Plato’s argument, Plato presents a valid theory on how our minds can obtain knowledge. This paper focuses on exploring Plato’s theory of recollection by examining the strengths and weaknesses of his discussion with Meno.
The discussion of Plato’s theory of recollection evolved from a single question, “What is virtue?” When questioning Meno on the single definition of virtue, Plato was
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What sort of thing, among those things which you know not, will you put forth as the object of your seeking? And even if you should chance upon it, how will you ever know that it is the thing which you not know?” (Plato’s Meno, 77)
Although Meno’s paradox seems to be merely a dodge of proceeding to continue and ponder the true meaning of what virtue really is, “the (paradox) is one of real philosophical importance and is basic for understanding the Theory of Ideas and the related notion of Recollection” (Plato’s Meno:Text and Criticism, 78). The problem with this paradox is that in order to discover the definition of virtue, one must use reflection and logical insight, not research and proof. “If the question under discussion had been a merely empirical one-e.g., ‘How many citizens are there in Athens?’-then Meno’s objection would have been utterly pointless, for this is a question to be answered by counting heads and not by reflection” (Plato’s Meno:Text and Criticism, 79). Plato, who has confronted this paradox before, told Meno the argument was an “excuse for indolence: and hence we must not give ear to this specious argument, for it will make us idle, and is pleasing only to the slothful” (Plato’s Meno, 78). Plato strongly believes in this concept and discusses his thoughts furthermore:
“I am ready to fight for as long as I can, in word and act: that is, that we shall be better, braver and more active men if we believe it right to
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