Posted at 10.11.2018
Meno is a Socratic dialogue written by Plato. It really is a dialogue between Socrates and Meno. It starts with Meno questioning Socrates about virtue, about how exactly virtue can be taught. But Socrates humbly replied that he didn't know what virtue means, or how virtue can be taught. Then, Socrates asked Meno to explain virtue for him for he will not know anyone who realized what it meant. Meno attempted to identify virtue at three different details: one, virtue ranges from one's action and one's age. Socrates argued that there surely is one thing that makes virtue, a virtue. This leads to the second definition, Meno said that virtue is ruling over people justly. But Socrates illustrated the response he wants to hear from Meno. This causes Meno's last attempt to define virtue as the desire to obtain beautiful things. Meno acknowledges that justice and moderation are parts of virtue. But Socrates said that he will not want elements of what virtue is, he wishes to know what virtue is really as a whole. They found a confusing discussion that finished up becoming what is now called Meno's Paradox or "The Paradox of Inquiry".
In this debate, the following questions will be dealt with:
What is Meno's Paradox?
Was Socrates in a position to solve the Meno's Paradox?
How does he solve the Meno's Paradox?
Was the response to his solution good?
What is Meno's Paradox?
Meno's Paradox or Paradox of Inquiry states that "a man cannot inquire either in what he knows or around what he does not know - for he cannot find out about what he is aware, because he understands it, and if so is at no need of inquiry; nor again can he make inquiries in what he does not know, since he will not know about what he is to inquire. " This is mentioned by Socrates in their dialogue. Therefore that: first, if you know what you are looking for, there is no need for inquiry, thus inquiry is needless. Second, if you don't know what you are looking for, you cannot make inquiries, thus inquiry is impossible. Third and last, from the first and second statements, inquiry is either pointless or impossible.
To further explore the quarrels of the paradox, evaluation of the quarrels are essential. The implicit affirmation will be: "Either you know very well what you're looking for or you don't know what you are considering. " Out of this premise arises a discord on "you know what you are looking for" part. It could either mean:
You know the question that you want to answer, or
You know the answer to the question that you inquired about
Exploring the statements given: if (a) is true, then (b) is fake. On the other hand, if (a) is phony, then (b) holds true. But there is absolutely no point where (a) and (b) are both true at the same time. This is because equivocation exists in the assertions. Looking at things at an alternative perspective, consider the question: "Is it feasible that you can know what you don't know?". At one point, the answer can be no. Associated with that you cannot know and not know something at the same time. Alternatively, the answer may also be yes. The reason for that is you can know the questions but do not know the answers to the question.
From these details, inquiry can be possible. For instance, you understand the question that you want to answer, nevertheless, you do not know the answer. You use different methods and techniques to probe into responding to the question, thus, sooner or later; you may arrive to an answer (you previously have no idea about) to the question. Therefore, from the assertions that were delivered, the Meno's Paradox commits the fallacy of equivocation.
Was Socrates able to solve the Meno's Paradox?
Yes, I really believe he could at least clarify the issue on Meno's Paradox. He proposed a way called Theory of Recollection.
How have he solve the Meno's Paradox?
The Theory of Recollection was suggested to clarify reasons for having the Meno's Paradox. Socrates said that the heart and soul is immortal. That is a fundamental idea from which the basis of theory rests. When we find out or learn something, this mere notion of learning something new is merely a process of recollecting something. Our souls have experience them before lifetimes, thus, it is merely recollecting the items. Socrates explained that, "Inquiry and learning are wholly recollection". He made a good example about the dialogue about the guy and the geometric inquiry. He argued that, given a question such as that of a square, the boy knew from recollection things that he would answer. At first, the boy clarified improperly. Socrates argued that, from his recollection of days gone by experiences, he will learn, and then will be able to answer correctly. Given that, the boy recently didn't know the answer.
Furthermore, Socrates is convinced that we possess the answers from within our souls. Finding the answers from in your souls is a matter of recollecting them. We recognize they are right and we confront them.
From these tips, Plato confronts the recollection process. It had been assumed that there surely is a question, name it Q:
The boy did not know about Q at time t_0
The boy is aware of Q at time t_1
The boy didn't acquire any knowledge about Q at that time interval from t_0 to t_1
Plato feels that (b) and (c) are both correct because Socrates did not do any teachings to the young man. Socrates only asked questions. But, dilemma arises, that whenever (b) and (c) are both appropriate, this implies that (a) is inappropriate. Therefore that the guy did know about Q at time t_0 because there is no knowledge that was obtained at time period t_0 to t_1.
This reasoning brings about the implications that recollection really is accessible. Plato thinks that there is something that is absolutely innate. There is something within the heart that allowed recollection of information.
Was the respond to his solution good?
I believe Socrates' solution is good. It overcame the Meno's Paradox. It demonstrated that Meno's Paradox can be conquered. However, the fact that the souls can be passed from one body to another, from one life span to another, seems hard do believe that. It is impossible to prove that such immortal souls can be found. And that, THE IDEA of Recollection prevails also to begin with.