What is virtue? Is virtue teachable? These are two important propositions in moral philosophy. This paper starts from these two propositions, through Socrates thoughts about virtue in Menon, to explore the essence and meaning of virtue and the issue whether virtue is teachable. This paper also demonstrates that virtue is good and knowledge, which is teachable and can be taught well.
Key words: Virtue; Socrates; Moral education
Resume: Qu'est-ce que la vertu? Peut t-elle-être enseignée la vertu? Il s'agit d'une proposition importante de la philosophie morale, il s'agit d'un départ de ces deux propositions, à travers la Meno, la pensée de Socrates à la vertu d'explorer la nature et le sens de la vertu et la question morale si elle peut être enseignée. Cet article montre également la vertu est bonne, la connaissance est la capacité d'enseigner, mais aussi peut être bien enseignée.
Mots clés: La vertu; Socrate; Et l'éducation morale
Morality and education have always been closely related. And "whether virtue is teachable" is the core issue of the relation between the two, and it is also an important proposition of all ages discussed by many philosophers. This issue was first originated in Plato's dialogues, in which several articles involved the explanation of 'Virtue" 2 by Socrates and Menon involved most. In Menon, Socrates discusses withMenon in dialogues by questions and answers what virtue is and whether virtue is teachable. To explore the proposition, "whether virtue is teachable", we first need to understand the meaning of virtue. Therefore, we will discuss the essence of morality and its meaning, and then discuss the issue whether virtue is teachable.
1. WHAT IS VIRTUE
To discuss the meaning and essence of virtue and whether virtue is teachable, we first need to clarify the definition of virtue. In Menon, Socrates and Menon discuss moral issues in dialogues. Although there is no specific conclusion, we can see the basic ideas of Socrates on virtue from it:
1.1 Virtue is "one" instead of "many"
Socrates argues that true virtue is a virtue to cover all the virtues, and applicable for all human, which is also the essence of virtue. In real life, the specific virtue includes a lot of things, such as courage, fortitude, justice and temperance. However, among them there is something about the essential attribute of virtue, which is Socrates' concept of virtue. Moreover, this is "one" instead of "many". The concept of virtue that Socrates pursues is of one essence rather than of multiple essences.
1.2 Virtue is good
Socrates believes that to obtain that "one" is to obtain good. In other words, the essence of virtue is good.
1.3 Virtue is knowledge
Socrates thinks that virtue is knowledge. In his view, nobody would go after 'evil'. If someone pursues "evil", then he must lack the knowledge of "evil", in other words, it is because he does not understand correctly or does not understand at all what "evil" is. Therefore, a virtuous person must know and understand the knowledge for virtue, and thus would not go after "evil".
1.4 Virtue is teachable
Socrates believes that knowledge is teachable, and if virtue is knowledge, then virtue is also teachable. This can be proved indirectly by the spirit midwifery of Socrates. In Socrates' opinion, virtue is a concept, not a norm. In fact, this concept is "justice". "Justice and all other virtues are all wisdom." 3 This is not directly and clearly stated inMenon. Only when the practice of virtue is mentioned, justice must be possessed under any conditions. We can see that what Socrates understands about virtue is justice. Further, to obtain this, we need to obtain good, since virtue is good. Therefore, virtue is to have knowledge. Those who have virtue will only pursue good, except that they are ignorance. Virtue is knowledge, and thus it is teachable.
2. VIRTUE IS KNOWLEDGE
Socrates discusses "virtue is knowledge", together with related nature of human moral behaviors, and evaluates the moral activities themselves from this. …