Socrates and Virtue: a few comments

1990

 

These are comments on Socrates in Plato's dialogue, related to the teaching of virtue

 

Socrates and Virtue. The word of Socrates are in Plato’s “Meno” in his Five Dialouges.

Socrates discusses whether virtue is taught or whether it comes from another source. I agree with one part of his argument. I find flaws with three other parts.

I agree with Socrates’ argument that virtue is knowledge.

I disagree with these:
Socrates: if there are no teachers, and no learners, then a subject can not be taught.
My response: Someone must be the first to teach a subject, or the first in that region of the world.

Socrates: since virtuous men can not teach virtue, virtue can not be taught.
My response: The ability to teach is a special talent. Many people are talented in an area, yet can not show or explain what they do.

Socrates: since many people are confused whether virtue can be taught, then virtue can not be taught.
My response: Just because there is confusion as to the answer doesn’t mean there isn't one. Further, men must be persuaded to learn virtue, or else the man will not learn it no matter how talented the teacher is.