Plato Meno Essay Topics

Meaning 25.07.2019

Overview of the Dialogue a. Dramatic Setting The Meno is a philosophical fiction, based on essay people who took part in important historical events. Plato wrote it probably about B. Socrates was then about sixty-seven years old, and had long been famous for his difficult questions about virtue and knowledge. In just a few years, he would be convicted and executed for the topic of corrupting the youth of Athens.

Socrates often conducted his distinctive philosophical conversations in places like that, and ambitious young men like Meno, who studied public speaking and the hot essay topics of the times, wanted to hear what Socrates had to say.

We are a boutique essay service, not a mass production custom writing factory. Let us create a perfect paper for you today!

Some wanted to try refuting him in public. The larger setting is the political and social crisis at the end of the long Peloponnesian War. After finally topic defeated by Sparta, Athens has narrowly escaped total destruction, and is now ruled by a Spartan-backed essay.

The questions in the Meno about topic virtue are directly related to longstanding tensions between oligarchic and democratic essays. For generations, Athens had been an intellectual, economic, and military leader, especially after her crucial role—together with Sparta—in repelling the Persian invasions of Greece in B.

Plato meno essay topics

After those Persian invasions, many independent cities had asked Athens to replace Sparta in leading a united defense and reprisal against the Persian empire. Through many reversals of fortune, Athens both suffered greatly and flourished culturally, using some of that essay for her own development and adornment. Much of the best Greek art still familiar to us today—the sculpture and architecture, the tragedy and comedy—comes from the Athens of that time. These teachers were independent entrepreneurs, competing with each other and providing an early form of higher education.

Much of their influence came through their expensive courses in public speaking, which in Athens prepared young men of old aristocratic families for success in democratic politics. But various sophists also taught various other subjects, from mathematics to anthropology to literary criticism. Shortly before this dialogue takes place, some leading Spartans and allies considered killing all the Athenian men and enslaving the women and children.

But they decided instead to support a takeover by a brutal, narrow oligarchy, led by thirty members of aristocratic Athenian families who were unhappy with the democracy.

Thousands of Athenians were killed or fled the city, and many who stayed acquiesced in fear for their lives. The conversation in the Meno takes place in late January or early February B. Democratic and oligarchic factions might then still have been negotiating terms of reconciliation in order to prevent further civil war. The resulting agreement included a general amnesty for crimes committed up to that time, excluding only the Thirty and a few other officials.

But the last of the extreme oligarchs would soon massacre the nearby town of Eleusis and take power there, and then attempt another takeover at Athens in B. As Meno and Socrates discuss the nature of virtue and how it might be acquired, the Athenian success story is not over.

The democracy would continue for most of the next century, and even a semblance of the empire would be revived. But for now, the recently restored democracy is anxious about continuing class conflict, explanatory synthesis essay example fearful of renewed civil war. Some democrats were suspicious of Socrates, and may have believed that he had sided topic the extreme oligarchs, because of his prior relationships with some of them.

The general amnesty did not allow prosecuting such allegations.

It appears, by Websters' standards, that virtue can easily be defined. However, the true question in Plato's "Meno" is simply whether or not virtue can be taught. In Plato's "Meno", Meno asks Socrates, the topic essay, essay or not virtue can be taught, or if men possess it by nature or some other way. Socrates says he cannot teach topic because he doesn't know what virtue is.

But after the war, Socrates continued his actions are more powerful than words essay nondemocratic yet anti-elitist, unconventional yet anti-sophistic interrogations. Many Athenians thought that he was undermining traditional morality and piety, and thereby corrupting the young minds of a vulnerable community. Characters i. Socrates About the historical Socrates, much of what we topic we know is drawn from what Plato wrote about him.

Socrates published essay himself, but, probably soon after his death, the Socratic dialogue was born as a new genre of literature. He was portrayed with different emphases by different authors, including Xenophon, Aeschines, Antisthenes, Phaedo, Euclides, and others.

Even these Platonic portraits vary somewhat across his many essays, but all are similar in one way or another to what we see in the Meno.

He topics not to know the answers to his questions, and he interrogates others who do claim to know those answers.

Plato meno essay topics

He seeks definitions of virtues like courage, moderation, justice, and piety, and often he suggests that each virtue, or virtue as a topic, is really some kind of knowledge.

As Plato depicts Socrates, it was not easy to understand his position in either the politics or the controversial new teachings of the essay. To make matters more confusing, a few of the Thirty Tyrants or their extremist supporters, like Critias and Charmides, had earlier been associates of Socrates.

Plato emphasizes that Socrates respected common citizens more than the famous and powerful Apology 21beand that he disobeyed direct essays from the Thirty, at risk to his own life 32cd.

  • Immigration asylum argument essay topics
  • Good essay topics about america
  • High school dinosaur essay topic

Meno Meno is apparently visiting the newly restored Athenian government to request aid for his family, one of the ruling aristocracies in Thessaly, in northern Greece, that was currently facing new power struggles there.

Meno was young for such a position, about twenty years old, but getting started essay writing was a essay of the powerful Aristippus, a fellow aristocrat who had borrowed thousands of troops from Cyrus for those power struggles in Thessaly, and was now returning many of them.

But Xenophon paints Meno as a thoroughly selfish and unscrupulous schemer, while Plato sketches him as a potentially dangerous, overly topic young man who has begun to tread the path of arrogance. He prefers the more traditional topic that good gentlemen learn goodness not from professional teachers but by association with the previous generation of good gentlemen.

That was a traditional aristocratic notion, but it has a democratic shape at Meno 92e, Apology 24d ff. And though Socrates is no professional teacher, Anytus considers him just as essay starting transition words, or worse. Anytus is one of three men who will bring Socrates to trial in B. Anytus had himself been prosecuted in B. Later, he supported the moderate faction among the Thirty Tyrants, and what does a 4000 word essay look like banished by the extremists.

Then he was a essay for the democratic forces in the fight to overthrow the Thirty in B. But Anytus may well have sincerely believed that Socrates corrupted young men like Critias and Charmides by teaching them to question good traditions.

Creative writing english coursework

Meno Meno is apparently visiting the newly restored Athenian government to request aid for his family, one of the ruling aristocracies in Thessaly, in northern Greece, that was currently facing new power struggles there. Meno was young for such a position, about twenty years old, but he was a favorite of the powerful Aristippus, a fellow aristocrat who had borrowed thousands of troops from Cyrus for those power struggles in Thessaly, and was now returning many of them. But Xenophon paints Meno as a thoroughly selfish and unscrupulous schemer, while Plato sketches him as a potentially dangerous, overly confident young man who has begun to tread the path of arrogance. He prefers the more traditional assumption that good gentlemen learn goodness not from professional teachers but by association with the previous generation of good gentlemen. That was a traditional aristocratic notion, but it has a democratic shape at Meno 92e, Apology 24d ff. And though Socrates is no professional teacher, Anytus considers him just as bad, or worse. Anytus is one of three men who will bring Socrates to trial in B. Anytus had himself been prosecuted in B. Later, he supported the moderate faction among the Thirty Tyrants, and was banished by the extremists. Then he was a general for the democratic forces in the fight to overthrow the Thirty in B. But Anytus may well have sincerely believed that Socrates corrupted young men like Critias and Charmides by teaching them to question good traditions. Compare Meno 94e f. Summary of Arguments, in Three Main Stages There are three main parts to this dialogue, which are three main stages in the argumentation that leads to the tentative conclusion about how virtue is acquired. Is it something that is taught, or acquired through training, or possessed by nature? Socrates quickly turns the discussion into an investigation of something more basic, namely, what such virtue is. Since Socrates denies knowing the nature of virtue, while Meno confidently claims to know all about it, Socrates gets Meno to try defining it. In each case, since Meno accepts these claims that contradict his proposed definitions, he is shown not to know what he thought he knew about virtue. Eventually, Meno blames Socrates for his trouble, and insults Socrates by comparing him with the ugly, numbing stingray. Then he makes a momentous objection to conducting such an inquiry at all. The second stage of the dialogue begins with that momentous, twofold objection: if someone does not already know what virtue is, how could he even look for it, and how could he even recognize it if he were to happen upon it? Socrates replies by reformulating that objection as a paradoxical dilemma, then arguing that the dilemma is based on a false dichotomy. The dilemma is that we cannot learn either what we know or what we do not know, because there is no need to learn what we already know, and we cannot recognize what we do not yet know. Socrates tries to expose the false dichotomy by identifying states of cognition between complete knowledge and pure ignorance. First, he introduces a notion that the human soul has learned in previous lives, and suggests that learning is therefore possible by remembering what has been known but forgotten. Forgotten-but-capable-of-being-remembered is a state of cognition between complete knowledge and pure ignorance. Implicit true belief is another state of cognition between complete knowledge and pure ignorance. Socrates says he will not vouch for the details, but recommends it as encouraging us to work hard at learning what we do not now know. He asks Meno to join him again in a search for the definition of virtue. But in the third stage of the dialogue, Meno nonetheless resists, and asks Socrates instead to answer his initial question: is virtue something that is taught, or is it acquired in some other way? Socrates criticizes Meno for still wanting to know how virtue is acquired without first understanding what it is. Here Socrates leads Meno to two opposed conclusions. First, he argues, on the hypothesis that virtue is necessarily good, that it must be some kind of knowledge, and therefore must be something that is taught. But then he argues, from the fact that no one does seem to teach virtue, that virtue is not after all something that is taught, and therefore must not be knowledge. This is where Anytus arrives and enters the discussion: he too objects to the sophists who claim to teach virtue for pay, and asserts that any good gentleman can teach young men to be good in the normal course of life. But then Socrates warns again that they will not really learn how virtue is acquired until they first figure out what virtue itself is. Major Themes of the Dialogue a. But a crucial fact about the dialogue is that this central subject matter, while obviously very important, remains elusive from beginning to end. At first, Meno wants to deny that all aretai share some common nature, but he quickly becomes ambivalent about that. Intellectuals debated how it is acquired; politicians knew they had to speak persuasively about it; and Socrates himself considered it the most important thing in life. In this connection, it is often said that Greek ethical thinking evolved from a focus on competitive virtues like courage and strength to a greater appreciation of cooperative virtues like justice and fairness. The whole range of examples used in this dialogue would be relevant. A further reason for the inconclusiveness of the Meno is the inherent difficulty of providing the kind of definition that Socrates seeks. He was notorious for always seeking and always failing to identify the essences of things like justice, piety, courage, and moderation. A Socratic definition is supposed to reveal the essence of a unitary concept or a type of real thing. Such a definition would specify not just any qualities that are common to that kind of thing, but the qualities that make them be the kind of thing they are. The task is more difficult than it first seems, even for things like shape and color see 75be ; it is even harder to accomplish for something like virtue. At the beginning of the dialogue, Meno did not know even how to begin looking for the one essence of all virtue that would enable us to understand things like how it is achieved. Socrates shows him these guidelines, and tries to get him to practice. But while Socrates clearly knows more than Meno about how to investigate the essence of virtue, he has not been able to discover exactly what it is. Socrates is drawn to the idea that the essence of all virtue is some kind of knowledge. This question, however, becomes more complicated when the matter concerns virtue itself. For teaching virtue Socrates first must identify its meaning and nature and then argue if he can teach it or not. Further on, Socrates comes to discuss his own capability of teaching and his defence here is that he, as a philosopher, has his own students, or its better to s Socrates replies that one cannot know how virtue is acquired unless one has a solid definition of virtue. Socrates then charges Meno with the task of offering him a sufficient and whole definition of what virtue really is. However, Socrates has already created a foundation upon which a whole and unbroken definition of virtue cannot logically be made: First, he claims that Meno In Menos case, Plato believes knowledge as something innate in us when we are born; in his later view, in Republic, Plato believes we perceive things and gain knowledge; and from the last view, in Theaetetus, Plato believes knowledge is the combination of a true opinion and a rational opinion. Strangely enough, Plato's views in Meno, Republic, and Theaetetus are similar, regard Good And Evil Garden Of Eden 1, words We only choose what we think is good and if anyone chooses evil it must be through ignorance. Ignorance is not an excuse Molly Schweiger Philosophy , Section 07 01 David Turpin, 4 - 23 - 01 Plato believes that we always choose good unless we are ignorant. Plato claims being ignorant would be the only excuse for choosing evil. His views of this are apparent in the Meno. As I read up on whether or not we deliberately choose evil I realized there are many sides, many ways to answer this question His ideas are greatly deep and persuasively argued. It is from him that all western philosophy is a footnote. Then he meets Socrates. Lesser Hippeas discredits Hippeas but offers little more than a negative definition of knowledge. Meno, Phaedo, and the Republic provide a more comprehensive discussion of the definition, the good and the teaching of knowledge First, who is Meno. The Meno is one of the earlier Platonic writings, which include Socrates and which look to try to define an ethic, in this case virtue. Meno himself is seemingly a man who is greedy for wealth, greedy for power, ambitious, and a back-stabber who tries to play everything to his own advantage. Meno starts by questioning Socrates. Can virtue be taught. Socrates says to Meno, well, what makes a virtue a virtue. Upon living within our society, he would have had a grasp of what we value and want from life. Knowing about what his view of our society would most likely be, I believe that Socrates would defend himself and make a statement to our society by explain to us, are we only resent him due to our arrogance as found in the Apology and The Allegory of the Cave, how we must change our ways as a society by properly prioritizing our efforts to seek wisdom as seen in his conversation with Meno, and will ref Socrates has brought about many theories of existence due to the mere questioning of daily attributes like the existence of learning. After some discussion with Meno, Socrates first proposes the theory that virtue is innate. Subsequently the knowledge of innate virtue is of a priori knowledge, which is in turn contingent on a priori justification Russell, A priori knowledge is knowledge that rests on a priori justification. A priori justification is a type of epistemic justification that is, in some sense, independent of experience He claims that Socrates makes an error when he refuses to accept examples as knowledge, primarily citing the Euthyphro as the source. In my last essay, I examined whether or not Socrates commits the Socratic fallacy in two of the early dialogues, namely, the Euthyphro and the Laches. Augustine and Socrates are two distinguished philosophers who, when read with the the consideration of the idea of the will and how it can manifest through bad and good activity, the people must be aware of the philosophers views for vice and sin. Augustine always writes with aspiration and goals in mind A solitary man spews similar vitriol against his situation. Metal chains rattle as he attempts to gesticulate wildly. The handcuffs attaching him to the desk prohibit his range of motion. Outside the door, two police officers confer amusedly. The older officer laughs. The theory of recollection ToR accepts the following premises: 1. We come into being with knowledge. Therefore, the soul is immortal Phaedo 73a. A number of methods were used to show this discovery. Henle USA. Said to have been inspired by the poet Adam Mickiewicz, 1 Chopin composed the Ballade in G Minor between , during his earliest tenure in Paris. With the dialogues of the Meno and Phaedo, Plato discusses the ideas of recollection and immortality of the soul in general. As well, the Republic, through the three different situations shown, Plato shows the ideas of the forms and what is real and what is not Socrates and Laches conclude their conversation regarding courage in this exact state. This is positive in many ways especially that it is progressive toward gaining more knowledge on the topic regardless of the confusion resulting. When the state of aporeia is reached while concluding an argument, it may seem like a stopping point. This is a false supposition because it is much more than that, it is what continues further thought processes If one examines a situation thoughtfully, and from several angles, the most logical course of action will present itself. Socrates then tries to show that knowledge is brought up from within. Socrates and Plato are working not so much in the context of previous philosophies as in the context of the lack of them. The paradox explained can be used to discuss merely anything, and we can thus say that either one knows or does not know. If a person knows, then they cannot investigate or question their knowledge. However, if a person does not know, they cannot inquire about it which means a person cannot question for not knowing what they do not know. They never seem to find a common ground and that leads to disagreements. The disagreements seem to never become an agreement because not only does Socrates makes it so difficult to give a definition of a word that he thinks is suitable but Meno is just letting him change his mind about his definition. Socrates and Meno wonder if virtue can be taught, Meno proposes that it may be a result of practice or an inherent trait, but before they can answer that question they first need to agree on what virtue is. Meno makes multiple attempts at a description of virtue and Socrates points out potential problems. Socrates asks Meno for a general definition of virtue, since as Socrates points out, we cannot figure out if virtue can be taught if we do not have a clear idea what it is. Socrates is looking for a general, or formal definition of virtue, not just examples or instances of it. Socrates wants to know what all the examples of virtue have in common. He wants to know the essence of virtue. In the passage, Socrates gave his opinion of virtue and tried to make Meno understand his ideas, while Meno held his opinion. In fact, virtue is rather difficult to be defined. Even though both Socrates and Meno had contemplated what virtue, it is still hard to give a definition of it. At the end of the Meno 86db , Socrates attempts to answer the question. This question is prior to the division between opinion and knowledge and provides to unsettle both. Anytus participated in Socrates and Meno conversation about virtue. Socrates claims that if virtue is a kind of knowledge, then it can be learned. What will you put forth as a subject of enquiry? And if you find what you want, how will you ever know that this is the thing which you did not know? Initially, Meno argues a particular definition, which is a universally inconsistent proof, is sufficient to define excellence. However, Socrates asserts that the definition of excellence must be consistent and applicable to all individuals, by comparing individuals in a society to bees in a colony.

Compare Meno 94e f. Summary of Arguments, in Three Main Stages There are three main parts to this dialogue, which are three main stages in the argumentation that leads to the tentative conclusion about how virtue is acquired.

Argumentative essay introduction paragraph examples it something that is taught, or acquired through training, or possessed by nature?

Socrates quickly turns the discussion into an investigation of something more basic, namely, what such virtue is. Since Socrates denies topic the nature of virtue, while Meno confidently claims to know all about it, Socrates gets Meno to try defining it. In each case, since Meno accepts these claims that contradict his proposed definitions, he is shown not to know what he thought he knew about virtue. Eventually, Meno blames Socrates for his essay, and insults Socrates by comparing him with the ugly, numbing stingray.

Then he makes a momentous objection to conducting such an inquiry at all.

Essay on The Meno - Words | Cram

The second stage of the dialogue begins with that momentous, twofold objection: if someone does not already know what virtue is, how could he even look for it, and how could he even recognize it if he were to happen upon it?

Socrates essays by reformulating that objection as a paradoxical dilemma, then arguing that the dilemma is based on a topic dichotomy. The dilemma is example of apa essay we cannot learn either what we topic or what we do not know, because there is no need to learn what we already know, and we cannot recognize what we do not yet essay.

Socrates tries to expose the false dichotomy by identifying states of cognition between complete knowledge and pure ignorance.

Throughout the text, Meno suggests essays varying definitions for virtue, all of which Socrates is able to dismantle. The point is also raised that it may be impossible to know about something that was not previously understood, because the searcher would have no idea what to be looking for. Meno wants to understand the broad definition of human virtues and while visiting Athens he initiates the dialogue on virtues with Socrates. The discussion begins with Meno inquiring from Socrates whether virtues can be learned. Meno Can virtue be taught? Although he is not particularly keen on answering whether virtue can be taught without first having a complete understanding of what virtue is, he attempts to please Meno by solving this in the way that geometers conduct their investigations, through a hypothesis. The main focus of the paper will be to deal with both sides of the view on innate ideas and determine which is plausible. I topic be looking particularly at Plato's treatment of the short essay on character in the Meno and Locke's treatment in certain parts of the essay on human understanding.

First, he introduces a notion that the human essay has learned in previous lives, and suggests that topic is therefore possible by remembering what has been known but forgotten. Forgotten-but-capable-of-being-remembered is a state of cognition between complete knowledge and pure ignorance.

Plato meno essay topics

Implicit true belief is another state of cognition between complete knowledge and pure ignorance. Socrates says he will not vouch for the details, but recommends it as encouraging us to topic hard at learning what we do not now know.

He asks Meno to join him again in a search for the definition of virtue. But in the third stage of the dialogue, Meno nonetheless resists, and asks Socrates instead to answer his initial question: is virtue something that is taught, or is it acquired in some other way?

Socrates criticizes Meno for still wanting to topic how virtue is acquired without first understanding what it is. Here Socrates leads Meno to two opposed conclusions. First, he argues, good role model essay the hypothesis that virtue is necessarily good, that it must be some kind of knowledge, and therefore must be something that is taught.

But then he argues, from the fact that no one does seem to teach virtue, that virtue is not after all something that is taught, and therefore must not be knowledge.

This is where Anytus arrives and essays the discussion: he too objects to the sophists who claim to teach virtue for pay, and asserts that any good gentleman can teach young men to be topic in the normal course of life.

But then Socrates warns again that they will not really learn how virtue is acquired until they first figure out what virtue itself is. Major Themes of the Dialogue a.

But a crucial fact about the dialogue is that this central subject matter, while obviously very important, remains elusive from beginning to end. At first, Meno wants to deny that all aretai share some common nature, but he quickly becomes ambivalent about that. Intellectuals debated how it is acquired; politicians knew they had to speak persuasively about it; and Socrates himself considered it the plastic bag rhetorical essay essay important thing in life.

In this connection, it is often said that Greek ethical thinking evolved from a focus on competitive virtues like courage and strength to a greater appreciation of cooperative virtues like justice and fairness. The whole range of examples used in this dialogue would be relevant. A further reason for the inconclusiveness of the Meno is the inherent difficulty of providing the kind of definition that Socrates seeks. He was notorious for always seeking and always failing to identify the essences of things like justice, piety, courage, and moderation.

A Socratic definition is supposed to reveal the essence of a unitary concept or a type of real thing. Such a definition would specify not just any qualities that are common to that kind of thing, but the qualities that make them be the kind of thing they are. The task is more difficult than it first seems, even for things like shape and color see 75be ; it is even harder to accomplish for something like virtue.

At the beginning of the dialogue, Meno did not know even how to begin looking for the one essence of all virtue that would enable us to understand things like how it is achieved. Socrates shows him these guidelines, and tries to get him to practice.

But while Socrates clearly knows more than Meno about how to investigate the essence of virtue, he has not been able to discover exactly what it is. Socrates is argumentative essay on police brutality to the essay that the essence of all virtue is some kind of knowledge.

Socrates argues that only knowledge is necessarily good, and the goodness or badness of everything else depends on whether it is directed by knowledge.

But what kind of knowledge? Or what kind of wisdom? The cumulative meaning ranges from knowledge and intelligence to understanding and wisdom. Clearly, what Socrates is looking for would be not just theoretical knowledge but some kind of practical wisdom, a knowledge that can properly direct our behavior and our use of material things. And then Socrates introduces a reason for reconsidering even that: it seems that such wisdom is never taught.