The Meno begins with a question, “Can virtue be taught?”. Socrates replies by asking for a definition of virtue. In the end, we are left with neither a definition of virtue nor an answer to Meno’s initial question.
Does Socrates reply to Meno’s paradox offer a solution to this problem or are we left with a deeper paradox when Socrates suggests that questions relating to virtue are outside the capacity of human understanding?
In light of Plato’s theory of the divided line in the Republic, critically assess Socrates’ response to the question of virtue and the question whether it can be taught.
Consider whether Plato’s theory of forms tie down what Socrates refers to as mere opinion in the Meno?
Write a critical essay (1,200 words, 4 to 5 double spaced pages) on one of the following topics.
This is a research paper; therefore, all primary and secondary sources must be cited. In other words, your paper must include a bibliography and footnotes.
Critically discuss Plato’s distinction between knowledge (or Being) and opinion (or becoming) in reference to the divided line and the allegory of the cave.
Your paper will want to offer an argument either defending or rejecting Plato’s position regarding his theory of knowledge in which the dialectic serves as the means to the highest level of knowledge, i.e. the forms.
In other words, do the forms provide a criteria for knowledge?
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