The paper “Plato’s Meno - Can Virtue Be Taught" is an inspiring version of a book review on philosophy. One of the strategies that Socrates used to win an argument with Meno was questioning some of the assumptions that Meno had made. When asked to define Virtues, Socrates questioned most of the definitions Meno gave, leaving Meno to question if he too could define virtues appropriately. Socrates views virtues from a different perspective from Meno. Meno’s definition is too general and unsatisfactory. Some of the questions that Socrates raises are legitimate. In fact, all questions that Socrates asks Meno are legitimate when one views things from Socrates’ perspective. Some of the questions that Socrates asks make one question their own definition of terms.
Socrates first requests Meno to define what virtue means. Socrates first implies that he does not know how to define the term virtue. Meno’s definition is so broad and has a varied perspective. As such, he considers aspects such as management of public affairs and shows Meno that they would not be termed as a virtue. Socrates introduces the concept of the Greek who were once virtue-driven people but lack the remotest consciousness at the present. This shows that virtue is definable by analyzing what it is, and what it is not. This question helps in defining the term virtue better. For one to know what virtue is, he or she needs to know what virtue does not control.
Socrates also questions if there is a standard or a measure that can precisely assess what is a virtue and what is not. For instance, he argues that people have different levels of strength or different heights. He asks if one can possess stronger virtues than another person can. Socrates here appears to be caught up on specifics. For him, a general definition is not enough and as such, he demands a detailed definition. Using such questions, Socrates avoids answering the question raised by Meno, by trying to have Meno answer himself the same question that he had posed.
Meno’s definition of Virtue extends to both genders arguing that virtue is evident when a woman is able to manage her household, while for a man; it is the ability to manage the city well. Meno’s definition has many loopholes. Socrates first argues that virtues are of different natures and different intensities. For instance, he presents an example where he uses multiple shapes, sizes, and color, which define virtues. Socrates implies that being hardworking and being honest are two different behaviors but both are perceivably virtues. This question is very legitimate, and one that gets Meno thinking about his initial definition.