Meno's Paradox

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Gregg B


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February 25, 2017







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3 / 603


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Meno eventually gives up saying that “both my mind and my tongue are numb.”(80b). No satisfactory definition of virtue comes about. Not finding a proper and complete definition for virtue leads to yet another question. How does one know what a virtue is? Socrates and Meno came up with three possible conclusions to this question...
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The first that virtue is knowledge so it is teachable, but there are no virtue teachers. The second that it is habit, so it is acquirable but not teachable. And the third is that it is a quality over which you have no control because it is given by God or nature. Meno then talks about inquiry. "How will you look for it, Socrates, when you do not know at all what it is? How will you aim to search for something you do not know at all? If you should meet with it, how will you know that this is the thing that you did not know?”(80d)...
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