Virtue in Plato’s Meno: Knowledge or True Belief? (960 words)

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Question

In the Meno, Socrates gives an argument for thinking that virtue is true belief rather than knowledge, since there are no teachers of it.
Would it have helped against that argument to say that there are no virtuous people?
Why might Socrates not wanted to have said that?
And finally, does saying that virtue is true belief and not knowledge conflict with any key properties of virtue, either properties Socrates himself thinks virtue has, or properties it is reasonable in general to think virtue has?

Solution Preview

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The Concept of Virtue in Plato’s Meno: Knowledge or True Belief?
To understand why Socrates says at the end of the Meno that virtue is true belief rather than knowledge (since there are no teachers of virtue) we must put into context Socrates’ method in the dialogue as a whole. Meno’s questions to Socrates, “Can virtue be taught? Or does it come by practice?” serves as a guiding question for the entire dialogue (70). Socrates gives a surprising answer and says, “I do not even have any idea of what virtue itself is” (71b)....

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