Follow The Daily Idea on Facebook and Twitter for updates. Socrates allows that they do not yet even know what virtue is, but ventures to determine whether it be learned or not. Socrates replies that nobody in Athens even knows what virtue is and that teaching it would therefore seem to be impossible. Socrates claims. 'O yes—nothing easier: there is the virtue of a man, of a woman, of an old man, and of a … 71e-72a Definition A: A plurality of examples. 70a Question: Can virtue be taught? But as Meno finds, contrary to his original perceptions as an ethical relativist, he does not know what virtue is, and in his new state of ethical absolutism, cannot therefore teach Socrates what virtue is, for how can one teach what one does not know?eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'benjaminbarber_org-box-3','ezslot_6',104,'0','0'])); It becomes the conclusion amongst the two, that virtue is a divine gift to those who are virtuous, and cannot be taught as it is not knowledge and it cannot be said that there re teachers of it. Socrates proposes that perhaps the Sophists, the wandering lecturers of Greece, are these mysterious teachers. It is then concluded that virtue is not knowledge, so it cannot be taught. 73d Definition 1: to be able to rule over men. Certainly, it cannot be said that Meno has discovered virtue, but he is one step closer. However, one can know the question but not the answer. 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. Will Meno tell him his own notion, which is probably not very different from that of Gorgias? no person who knows what virtue is. After hearing this Socrates goes on to explain that these men cannot even agree on this point, therefore they are not teachers of this subject. By the end of his dialogue with Meno, Socrates has enlightened Meno insofar as teaching him that he does not, in fact, know the nature of virtue, thus changing his double ignorance to single, from ethical relativism to absolutism However, now neither of them can say they know virtue, nor can they conclusively say that virtue can be taught, or cannot be taught.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'benjaminbarber_org-large-mobile-banner-2','ezslot_16',112,'0','0'])); To export a reference to this essay please select a referencing style below: The Meno asks the question what is virtue and can it be taught, The Word Philosophy Means The Love Of Knowledge, The Book Asks The Eternal Question: What Is The Purpose Of Our Lives, Women In China During “The Long Eighteenth Century”. However, Socrates, through his refutations of Menos questions and arguments, does not justify his conclusion that it cannot be taught. He constantly defers to Socrates and accepts the answers he receives from him. Meno is content to conclude that virtue can be taught, but Socrates, to Meno's surprise, turns on his own argument and starts criticizing it. Read Gorgias 454d-458c, 459ab-460ab, 463b-d. V1: Meno's first account of virtue (71e-72a) A man is virtuous iff he can manage public affairs in a way that benefits his friends and harms his enemies, but doesn't harm himself. Virtue can be taught. Plato’s Meno Can a virtue be taught or is it nature?-The Meno is probably one of Plato's earliest dialogues, with the conversation dateable to about 402 BCE.The dialogue begins with Meno asking Socrates whether virtue can be taught, and this question (along with the more fundamental question of what virtue is) occupies the two men for the entirety of the text. The question also concerns us, as parents, as we seek to teach values to our children. Since men are not virtuous by nature, the conclusion is reached that people are virtuous only if they have received virtue as a gift from the gods. 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