Virtue In The Dialogue: Meno, Socrates

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Plato: Meno In the dialogue Meno, Socrates and a bright young man from a well-endowed family named Meno, undergo a lengthy discourse in the topic of virtue. Socrates questions Meno about his beliefs regarding virtue and uses his method of cross logical examination to challenge Meno’s claims in order to free him from such false beliefs and invites him to examine the essence of virtue together. Meno, then perplexingly questions Socrates about his own method of discovery through logical inquiry and puts forth a dilemma which argues that a person can neither inquire about what he knows, since he already knows it, nor can he inquire about what he does not know since firstly, he has no reference as to how to go about finding it, and secondly, he…show more content…
In the passage 81d (2002), Socrates describes a phenomenon where the human soul is ultimately immortal despite the perishable nature of the body. The immortality of soul means that the soul has learned everything that needs to be learned in its previous incarnations. So, the process which humans call learning, is in reality a step towards recollecting what the soul already knows. This disarms both horns of the dilemma because firstly, the idea of recollection suggests you do know everything in your soul and all you need to do is uncover them through reason. This means, you can rediscover things you perceive as unknown through inquiry and logic. This disarms the second horn of the dilemma. In addition, since you can inquire about what you already know in your soul, which is everything, disarms the first horn of the dilemma. This theory alongside disarming both horns of Meno’s dilemma, also encourages the pursuit of knowledge. Contrary to Meno’s dilemma, the theory of recollection acknowledges the existence of objective truth and points us towards the direction of finding it through the method of
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