Socrates And Meno Analysis

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“In a word, all that the soul undertakes and endures, if directed by wisdom, ends in happiness, but if directed by ignorance, it ends in the opposite” (Meno 88c). Although Meno and On Free Choice of the Will could not be on further ends of the spectrum, one arguing virtue and the other arguing evil, the arguments within these texts are analogous to each other; both are about the inability to learn a concept. Socrates argues that virtue is not wisdom and cannot be learned; it is a gift from the gods. Augustine argues that evil cannot be learned, as it is a simply a result of one’s lack of good will. Although one argument may not be more correct than the other, Augustine presents the stronger argument. He contends through the use of linear,…show more content…
Meno brings forth the an argument of nature versus nurture. The goal of this dialogue is to understand whether virtue is learned through society or if those who are virtuous are born with this quality. Socrates presents his response through a serious of questions, followed by the realizations of Meno and the falsification of premises leading to the conclusion. Throughout the dialogue, Socrates makes the claim that virtue cannot be learned. He begins by arguing that there are no teachers of virtue, and if there are no teachers of virtue, there cannot be learners of virtue. I disagree with his argument because there in fact are teachers of virtue. It is the job of patents to teach their children and guide them towards the right path, that of virtue. In addition, do not consist of the only path to knowledge. For example, you can learn virtue through observation of other virtuous individuals that are present within society. Learning can also take place through actions and conditional responses. If you act with…show more content…
This argument’s dialogue is presented in a linear fashion, with one argument providing support to the next and so on. Augustine makes the claim that evil cannot be learned. Learning is obtaining knowledge, and knowledge can only be obtained through learning. I agree with his initial analysis, because there is no way to know something without having learned it through some method, whether it be though teaching, observing, or actions. He then proceeds to establish that learning is a good thing, and that only good is learned. Because only good can be learned, evil cannot be learned because it is not good. Obtaining knowledge is certainly good, no matter what the knowledge is of. Even if knowledge on how to do something harmful, it is still good when applied correctly. Knowledge and a complete understandning of an action that is evil allows the prevention of harm. You cannot learn evil, because if you learn, it is automatically good for this reason. He then states that understanding is good, and you must understand to have learned. That is true, because if you do not understand the information presented to you, then you do not have knowledge of it, and if you do not have knowledge of it, it has not been learned. Augustine builds off of this by stating that not having an understanding is not good because understanding is good. Finally, he says that everyone who
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