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Meno's Paradox and Socrates Theory of Recollection - Assignment Example

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Meno's Paradox and Socrates Theory of Recollection

This evidenced in the argument between Meno and Socrates, whereby, they both agree on prior knowledge. Meno can be referred to as Socratic dialogue written by Plato. It aims to find the definition of arete or virtue. In this regard, it means virtue in general manner rather than particular virtues such as temperance and justice. In response to Meno’s paradox, Socrates comes up with new ideas of immortality of the soul, the theory on knowledge as a recollection, which Socrates illustrates by posing a mathematical puzzle to one of Meno’s slaves. In this paradox, Socrates tries to find a distinction between true belief and knowledge. In this dialogue, Meno suggests that inquiry is not possible. The argument that meno brings forth is known as meno’s paradox. As a solution to this disturbing paradox, Socrates constructs a theory of recollection (Meno 71). Meno asks Socrates whether virtue can be taught. In response, Socrates says that he does not know anything like virtue and in his entire life; he has never known anyone who is virtuous. In their argument, Meno tries to define virtue as power of command with exceptions in that there are virtues for those who command and those who obey and that the power of command must be exercised either justly or unjustly. On his part, Meno is willing to accept that virtue exist and can be taught. On his side, Socrates had no difficulty of admitting that there is virtue of good, and that the goods whether of mind or body are under direction of knowledge. Basing on this assumption, it can be deduced that virtue is teachable. In this paradox, there are two notions involved in that it is possible to overcome Meno’s paradox without difficulty and on the other hand, Socrates theory of recollection which is used as a response to the paradox but as the solution. The Meno’s paradox states that a man cannot inquire either about what he or she does not know or what he or she knows for he is not in a position to inquire about what he knows and in that manner, there is no need for inquiry (Meno 77). In this paradox, Socrates presents to Meno puzzlement on the question of what is virtue. Meno responds by accusing Socrates of behaving like a fish which stuns its victims. In his response, Socrates argues that the reason for this comparison is that meno is inviting counter comparisons due to his own vanity and that Meno is like a stingray in that it numbs itself and makes other numb. On his part, Socrates is ignorant of the true meaning of virtue. On the other hand, since a man can inquires if he or she does not know, because he does not know about what he is to inquire in order to know. This in simple manner is the Meno’s paradox whereby inquiry is impossible and by, extension, learning is not possible. In sum, people cannot acquire new knowledge. In his argument, Socrates takes Meno’s paradox lightly and in response, he proposes a theory of recollection which states as following. Socrates says that the soul is immortal. In this he meant that, this a significant ground for primary belief upon which the rest of the theory is based. Socrates asserts that the soul has been born many times and has experienced many things. In this, he meant that, when people make inquiries or do what is known as learning, we as human beings are merely recollecting the knowledge which our soul acquired before human lifetime (Meno 85). ...Show more
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Instructor Date Meno’s Paradox Meno’s paradox and Socrates theory of recollection is an argument in the form of a question. It is possible to learn because one is not aiming to discover new knowledge that he or she does not know, rather one is uncovering such knowledge which, can be said as remembering latent knowledge that has been forgotten…
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