The Definition Of Virtue In Plato's Meno

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What is the essence of a life well-lived? This question has been asked for millennia, and many have suggested answers. Plato, an ancient Greek philosopher, presented his own hypothesis (at least partially) in a dialogue entitled Meno, in which Plato’s teacher, Socrates, led a disciple of the sophists, Meno, through a discussion of virtue. As an abrupt start of the dialogue, Meno asked, “Can you tell me, Socrates, whether virtue is acquired by teaching or by practice; or if neither by teaching nor by practice, then whether it comes to man by nature, or in what other way?” (Plato 35). While Socrates never answered the former of these questions definitively, by focusing on the latter, Socrates hypothesized that virtue cannot be taught but is learned through divine inspiration and cannot be handed down. And although Plato’s final hypothesis on the definition of virtue, that virtue is the power of attaining goodness with justice, is true, it is not complete. In addition, his conclusion about the teachability of virtue is mistaken. In accordance with Plato’s definition, virtue is excellence, but in contrast to Plato’s view, virtue can be taught through the Scriptures. Although Socrates never stated his personal hypothesis on the definition of virtue, instead focusing more on whether virtue can be taught, he considered multiple definitions of virtue presented by Meno, all of which he derided as problematic. First, when asked to give a straightforward definition of virtue,
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