Help me revise this…. Its philo paper. I can’t think of a title. I’m looking to make it better..?





(FIRST PART THE ESSAY IS TO LONG TO PUT ON HERE)Explain and evaluate Socrates’ arguments in the Meno for and against the claim that virtue is knowledge and so teachable. How does he try to resolve the matter in the end of the dialogue? Which position seems most reasonable to you? Why?In Plato’s dialogue Socrates discusses ways in which virtue can be acquired withMeno. Three possibilities are confronted; first that virtue is innate within the humansoul. The second suggests that virtue can be taught, and the third possibility is that virtueis a gift from the gods. These ways are debated by Socrates and Meno to a very broadconclusion.Socrates poses the question that virtue may be innate within the human soul. Thisis to say that all people would have virtue within them, but it is only those who find itthat can truly become virtuous. To prove the concept of innate understanding to Meno, Socrates, acquires the help of one of Meno's slave boys to demonstrate. Socratesestablishes that the boy has never been taught mathematical geometry and startsbombarding him with a series of questions on the physical properties of a square. First heasks the boy to multiply the square by two, and he succeeds. However, the boy fails whenasked to divide the same square into two parts half the original size. By asking the boy aseries of questions yet, never actually telling him the answers Socrates helps the slave to"recollect" the knowledge that is within him. Meno is of course astonished with this featthat Socrates maintains is simply a matter of recollection.This example given by Socrates, though obviously persuasive to Meno issomewhat unstable. It can be shown that Socrates manipulated the boy into recollectingthe information by offering suggestive material within his questions. For example, if aperson did not know the sum of the equation two plus two one could ask: if a person hadtwo apples and someone else gave them two more would the person then not have fourapples in total? A question was asked yet the information on how to perform theoperation was directly given in the statement. Thus it can be reasoned that Socrates in asense did teach the boy how to divide the square.Following this demonstration Socrates poses a second idea that virtue may betaught. He begins by looking for teachers of virtue and comes up with four examples. The first is Themistocles who is agreed to be virtuous by the debaters and obviously agood teacher of his virtue. However the debaters also agree that Themistocles" own sonCleophastus is not a virtuous man "at the same pursuits as his father." (Meno p.26) Theother three examples also included fathers that are unable to pass on the virtue that theyhave acquired to their sons. It is therefore concluded by Socrates that virtue cannot betaught on the basis that any virtuous man would want to teach his ideals to his son. Theexample was given that Themistocles was able to teach his son how to ride horses andthrow javelin, so his ability to teach was not in question, however, the fact remained thathe was unable to teach his son to be virtuous.



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One Response to “Help me revise this…. Its philo paper. I can’t think of a title. I’m looking to make it better..?”

  1. borisov says:

    A good title might be “The truth concerning virture and knowledge as viewed by Socrates.”