On Thoughts of Socrates about Virtue in Menon and Whether Virtue Is Teachable/LE COMMENTAIRE D'ESSAI SUR MENO DE SOCRATES POUR SAVOIR SI LA MORALITÉ ET LE VERTU SONT ENSEIGNABLE

By Zhou, Qi | Canadian Social Science, April 3, 2011 | Go to article overview

On Thoughts of Socrates about Virtue in Menon and Whether Virtue Is Teachable/LE COMMENTAIRE D'ESSAI SUR MENO DE SOCRATES POUR SAVOIR SI LA MORALITÉ ET LE VERTU SONT ENSEIGNABLE


Zhou, Qi, Canadian Social Science


Abstract:

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. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

On Thoughts of Socrates about Virtue in Menon and Whether Virtue Is Teachable/LE COMMENTAIRE D'ESSAI SUR MENO DE SOCRATES POUR SAVOIR SI LA MORALITÉ ET LE VERTU SONT ENSEIGNABLE
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.