Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Ethics, Virtue, Socrates, Desire, Evil, Square, Supreme Court, Definition

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/11/18

The Meno refers to the dialogue between Socrates and Meno, written by Plato. It attempts to define virtue; whether it is attained by practice, teaching, or nature, or by neither of the ways. The dialogue defines sensible virtue rather than specific virtues. It seeks to shed light on an individual can be seen as virtuous from different perspectives owing to one’s understanding or views regarding good deeds. According to the dialogue, Meno learns the collective meaning of virtue. First, he learns from Socrates that virtue is not different for both men and women, and for every condition of life as Meno declares. According to him, virtue cannot be defined by providing a group of other virtues. For instance, in the Meno, Socrates asserts, “How fortunate I am Meno! When I ask you for one virtue, you present me with a swarm of them”(12d). Socrates demonstrates using the nature of bees. He says that despite the fact that bees are many and different in nature, they all have a common nature that defines their virtue.
Socrates disagrees with Meno’s argument that the virtue of man and woman is only in acting in temperance and justice respectively.Meno claims that a man’s virtue is in administering the state with justice while a woman’s virtue is in keeping her house in order and acting in temperance. He disputes Meno’s thinking that people cannot have similar features of being good unless they have temperate and just virtues. Instead, Socrates seeks to have one definition for all virtues. His demonstration of the difference between “a figure” and “figure” attempts to define all virtues. Being that “a figure” would refer to a circle, rectangle, or triangle, so then “figure” is a collective term that refers to all the mentioned figures. Likewise, color would mean white, orange, or yellow. Hence, white or orange is “a color” and not “color” since “color”refers to all colors. To abate misperception, Socrates further attempts to present a common definition designated as figure, which incorporates both straight and round figures. He calls it “simile in multies”(16d). He defines figure as the only object that can be seen through light. Socrates claims that he defines virtue to be similar to a figure.
Meno is convinced with Socrates’ definition of virtue and then attempts to define it in the universal. He states, “Virtue as I take it is when he, who desires the honorable, is able to provide it for himself” (32d). It is one’s desire and ability to attain honorable things. However, Socrates argues that whoever desires that which is honorable also desires that which is good. In addition, there are those who desire evil while others desire good. Those who desire evil can either expect good or evil outcomes. There are also those who ignorantly expect good outcomes from evil desires. Those who desire evil and expect evil outcome also know that they evil may offend and make them miserable. It is certain that those who are miserable are doomed, and in this case, no one desires to end up in misery. Therefore, Meno agrees that no one desires evil; everyone desires good in equal measure. They only differ in the power to attain the good. He thenapproves that virtue is the ability to attain good.
Socrates equates the good to be in form of wealth and possession such as gold and silver. Therefore, virtue is the ability of having silver and gold. Consequently,an individual has to acquire these possessions sincerely and justly to be seen as good. Additionally, Socrates believed that virtue one can acquire through other parts of virtue such as temperance, justice, and holiness. In his regard, these characteristics are inseparable in the context of referring to goodness in an individual. Meno agrees with this argument, which is contrary to his previous definition of virtue. Nonetheless, he feels ruined by Socrates since even he does not accept the definition of virtue as attained from other virtues. In his view, Meno believes that attaining virtue is a connected process that involves connection of one virtue to the other, and not detaching one from the other. For example, an individual having temperance but is unjust in his judgements and treatment of others, cannot be deemed virtuous. In the end,Menosurprisingly realizes that Socrates does not know the meaning of virtue.
Socrates defends his way of thinking by clarifying to Menothat people learn not through teaching but through a process of recollection. For example, given a square figure, it is possible to see that it has four equal lines. If the lines are two feet each, then it will be four square feet. In order to produce eight square feet, the lines must be double their original size. In this scenario, one can calculate the size of a square just by looking at the measurement of the lines. However, one does not know the logic used for the calculation. For example, one does not know that drawing two divisions, each four feet, in eight feet square makes the calculation four by two square feet. It is not four times as may be assumed by seeing, but a double, since four by four is sixteen.The power of recollection enables one to know his ignorance and learn the right thing. Therefore, Socrates’ defense is, giving someone a “torpedo shock” does not harm that person. Instead he states, “We have certainly, as would seem, assisted him in some degree to the discovery of truth; and now he will wish to remedy his ignorance” (23d)
In the Apology, Socrates does not admit that he is guilty as is expected of an apology. Rather, he explains to the gathering that his actions of forcing the Athenians tocriticallyscrutinize their lives and beliefs were right. In the beginning of the Apology, he asserts, “I know nothing for certain, and I know that I know nothing.” He uses an intelligent way of defending himself against the charges of holding unorthodox opinions against his country. Socrates states that he is not a good orator and is not good at swaying others to believe his own opinions. He then asks the judge to judge him by the truth and not by his linguistic ability. This statement shows that he was a rhetorical person, who looks up likes to take people in circles so that they can make sound decisions on their own.In addition, on one hand, Socrates relates with the gods, having wisdom that surpasses human understanding. On the other hand, he is in the company of humanity and says he knows nothing; that he is an ordinary mortal when it comes to knowledge.

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WePapers. (2020, November, 18) Free Essay On Option 1: The Meno. Retrieved March 02, 2024, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-essay-on-option-1-the-meno/
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Free Essay On Option 1: The Meno. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-essay-on-option-1-the-meno/. Published Nov 18, 2020. Accessed March 02, 2024.
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