The concept of 'shape' can't be defined by describing squares, circles or triangles. Yes, indeed; but what if the supposition is erroneous? Indeed, Socartes reflects back quite a lot. That, Socrates, appears to me to be an admirable answer. Chomsky was struck by the remarkable achievement of every child in learning language. Surely, there is a huge gap here which needs to be filled -- but Plato does say a lot about this elsewhere. Yes, Socrates, that would have been the right way. What is its structure, and what are its limits? That is the only inference.
Plato had used these works to describe Socrates at his best and was meant to be studied by the academy created by Socrates. Health and strength, and beauty and wealth-these, and the like of these, we call profitable? And thus we arrive at the conclusion that virtue is either wholly or partly wisdom? The slave boy demonstrates that he understands the concepts and the reasoning employed in the inquiry but he does not provide accounts — that is: he does not explain why he gives the answers he does. A square may be of any size? If Socrates admits that virtue is a kind of knowledge, and, as we saw, the slave boy turns out to have innate knowledge on matters of geometry since he doesn't actually learn, but in fact recollects things his soul - which he was born with - already knew , shouldn't this mean that virtue is innate as well? Also this knowledge is unchangeable and true for everyone, everywhere. Let me trouble you with one more question. How can we respond to this concern? Socrates deals with this issue by explaining that escaping would be unjust. If human minds 'naturally' reason in Euclidean terms, and the universe is non-Euclidean, then that is indeed a body blow for Plato's perfect picture.
And if one man is not better than another in desiring good, he must be better in the power of attaining it? Indeed the slave boy scene could be and has been taken to be a depiction of the idea that, recollection or no recollection, the possibility of knowledge depends on finding someone else who already knows what you want to know. And I think, Socrates, that they are right; although very likely our friend Anytus may take offence at the word. Anytus is outraged because he considers the sophists to be a source of corruption. Once more, I suspect, friend Anytus, that virtue is not a thing which can be taught? I'm capitalising 'True' because somehow I see 'Truth' in this sense as being some kind of higher thing, some definitey beyond human conception. In the Ladder of Love analogy Plato posits that in loving first a ----, then seeing all beautiful bodies in the lover, one begins to see the soul that animates all those bodies: Then the laws and institutions that produce beautiful souls: Then the knowledge which makes possible those laws and institutions. Only if you know what youre looking for is used unambiguously in both disjuncts.
The idea that virtue is a kind of knowledge, however, does seem to have been a central tenet of Plato's moral philosophy. I shall only ask him, and not teach him, and he shall share the enquiry with me: and do you watch and see if you find me telling or explaining anything to him, instead of eliciting his opinion. His comportment toward other beings is one of possession rather than relation. What appears to be learning something new is really recollecting something already known. Trivial thoughts had been brought up by these works and it was up to the person reading them to decide what Socrates had wanted you to understand.
Ultimately, the knowledge in question is the knowledge of what truly is in one's best long-term interests. We may draw an analogy with a challenge made against Descartes. First, if virtue is a kind of knowledge, then it can be taught, and second, if there is anything good that is not knowledge, then it is possible that virtue is not a kind of knowledge. One problem that immediately arises is coordinating the Meno story with the Phaedo, which seems to put beyond doubt that Plato took the recollection idea to relate to contentious claims about souls in that dialogue, these claims are the whole point. Most of what we know about him was depicted through works that Plato, his pupil, had written about him.
I am beginning to understand; but I do not as yet take hold of the question as I could wish. Certainly we shall have to look to ourselves, and try to find some one who will help in some way or other to improve us. The slave boy emerges from their exchange with a positive knowledge of mathematics, which he did not have coming in. But is the discussion rigged such that Socrates is really giving him the answers by knowing them himself and then feeding the boy the answers by a series of carefully constructed leading questions? Because they have no experience which might suggest a different interpretation, the cave-dwellers assume that the shadows they see moving on the cave wall are the reality of the people and things. Socrates clearly thinks that through inquiry rational people will make progress in the right direction, disregarding false beliefs and keeping hold of the true ones. And if these were our reasons, should we not be right in sending him? And so, Meno, this is the way in which you mock me.
And if I may venture to make a jest upon you, you seem to me both in your appearance and in your power over others to be very like the flat torpedo fish, who torpifies those who come near him and touch him, as you have now torpified me, I think. Were not all these answers given out of his own head? We are born with the innate ability to derive the logical consequences of our beliefs. But would he not have wanted? More importantly, though, I do the Meno without yet mentioning Forms so much as I do on the podcast I actually emphasize that you can understand a good deal of what Plato is up to without invoking Forms. Is virtue the same in a child and in a slave, Meno? A good definition of a concept should identify this common core or essence. Moreover, what we know can be perfectly precise- e. According to Plato mathematical knowledge cannot be about things in the material, sensible realm because it is perfectly exact, and nothing in this physical world is so------ and because it is unchanging, which is true of nothing in visible reality and it is eternal, and will always be the case for example that two and two equal four.
The Forms or Ideas are unchangeable and perfect, and are only known by the use of the intellect not sense-perception or imagination. And we too, as we know not the nature and -qualities of virtue, must ask, whether virtue is or not taught, under a hypothesis: as thus, if virtue is of such a class of mental goods, will it be taught or not? Not virtue, Socrates, but vice. Then now that the sameness of all virtue has been proven, try and remember what you and Gorgias say that virtue is. So the object of our knowledge must be other than what we can see and touch- again the Forms. And yet I would much rather return to my original question, Whether in seeking to acquire virtue we should regard it as a thing to be taught, or as a gift of nature, or as coming to men in some other way? And therefore not by any wisdom, and not because they were wise, did Themistocles and those others of whom Anytus spoke govern states.
Thrasymachos argues that a just man will pay taxes on his estate and an unjust man will pay less taxes on the same size property, etc. Xenophon, Aristophanes, and Aristotle were all his students or had learned from him, more importantly his thoughts. Boy: I do not understand. I have not a good memory, Meno, and therefore I cannot now tell what I thought of him at the time. I entirely approve, Socrates, of the manner in which you now view this matter. Is there a definition that takes in all these, or takes in some and excludes others? Others would insist that you subjectively need to be certain that you didn't make a mistake.