Virtue, Practice, and Perplexity in Plato’s m Wians – – Plato: The Internet Journal of the International Plato Society (Plato 12 ()). Dominic Scott has produced a monograph on the Meno that in its fluency and succinctness does justice to its subject and, like its subject. Buy [(Plato’s Meno)] [Author: Dominic Scott] published on (March, ) by Dominic Scott (ISBN:) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free.

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The great value of Scott’s book lies in the stimulating questions it raises and in the often novel and always carefully supported ideas plao advances. The assumption that we ,eno determine what virtue is before asking whether it is teachable is not made the subject of a serious philosophical challenge domijic. His book begins with an Introduction in which he offers a concise and accurate synopsis of the dialogue, followed by a defense of J. History of Western Philosophy. I see no cause to erect such a narrow tightrope.

Moreover, the numbing effect need not be paralyzing: Meno seems to have no objection to the assumption in the case of bees and even plqto the case of health and strength and he is in none of these cases too “obtuse” to understand it.

But even if this critique is apt, it is hard to see what alternatives to elenchus Socrates has–if indeed he is as lacking in wisdom as he claims to be.

Indeed one wonders why Meno would ask the question in the first place in his “peremptory” fashion if not because he regards it as of pressing practical importance.

Dominic Scott: Plato’s Meno.

Plato and Aristotle on Learning and Error. For the most part, therefore, Scott tacitly relies on the assumption that if the character Socrates expresses a view in certain favored Platonic dialogues, that is sufficient evidence for attributing said view to the historical figure.

No keywords specified fix it. Scott so inflates what is involved in “following a proof” that it becomes comparable for him to how people discover “new geometrical proofs that no one had ever taught them” By “Socratic” here Scott is clear that he means what pertains to that elusive figure, the historical Socrates.

Find it on Scholar. One should at least entertain the possibility that Socrates’ playing of the character card at this point is meant to say more about him than about Meno. Indeed, it is just before the alleged change in Meno that Socrates is at pains to emphasize that Meno has not changed, that, on the contrary, wishing to hold onto his freedom cf.


Dominic Scott: Plato’s Meno. – Free Online Library

The final platp of Socrates on philosophical trial concerns the method of hypothesis. Nevertheless, as Scott sees him, the slave is thinking “for himself.

But even if Meno’s moral character remains unchanged, has he not perhaps become a better pupil? With regard to 3Scott admits the difficulty of discovering which of the views of the historical Socrates is being challenged by Meno’s “discovery problem” and settles, rather conservatively, on the Socratic insistence that inquiry is a duty Bryn Mawr Classical Review Even with the second feature we have rather a mixed bag.

Edited with Introduction, Notes, and Excursuses.

And, third, it is far from evident that Meno actually challenges the unitarian assumption. Cambridge University PressFeb 16, – Philosophy. That being so, can we be certain that Socrates’ criticism of Meno is straightforwardly endorsed by Plato? The charge seems particularly harsh given that elsewhere Scott condemns Meno for being “peremptory” There is every reason to expect that he would have cooperatively followed Socrates from the start had Socrates assumed the role of teacher.

Almost exclusively, it turns out, that they are positions that the character Scot espouses in certain memo Plato’s dialogues, namely those that are often treated as “early” and as representing the spirit of the historical figure.

Mill’s assessment of the Meno as a philosophical “gem. We have indeed seen instances where Meno is pleased to continue the discussion so long as Socrates gives him what he wants–for example, a definition of color that he likes see 77a; for other instances of his agreeableness when not confronted see 76d, 81a7, a9.

The book concludes with three appendices, the first concerned with the compatibility of Meno 77bb with Rep. When we come to the second case, Meno’s comparison of Socrates to the stingray that numbs its victims, Scott is kinder, noting that Plato has awarded Meno “an extremely articulate speech” Nor, on the other hand, is Meno particularly stupid or badly behaved, though he would need to be for Scott to succeed in portraying him as failing to grasp the import of his own contributions.

I close with one final problem that I believe bears mentioning, namely, the assimilation of the beneficial to the instrumental. It is evident that he is troubled by young people’s viewing his serious work as amusement and practicing it as sport. Its treatment of these, though profound, is tantalisingly short, leaving the reader with many unresolved questions. This book confronts the dialogue’s many enigmas and attempts to solve them in a way that is both lucid and sympathetic to Plato’s philosophy.


Meno in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy categorize this paper. Account Options Sign in. In the third case, the issuing of Meno’s famous paradox of inquiry, Meno’s vice is apparently to be “eristic” — that is, in unfurling the paradox “his concern is less with epistemology than with finding a successful debating tactic” Virtue, Practice, and Perplexity in Plato’s Meno.

Bryn Mawr Classical Review

We require a Meno with enough about him to suggest material that sophisticates can engage with, but not enough to suggest that he belongs with them. Scott’s analysis illuminates several of the Meno ‘s puzzles. As early as the Apology Socrates is aware that he is alienating those he questions and even entertains the possibility that he is corrupting the young, albeit unintentionally. Meno remains the same bully now as before, and Socrates in effect warns us not to be taken in by his current turn to politeness and collegiality.

Irony and Insight in Plato’s Meno. Plato’s Meno Dominic Scott No preview available – Dominic Scott’s contribution to the McCabe series of commentaries on Platonic dialogues is a most welcome addition to that still short but fine list. In any event, the fact that Socrates makes “use of the term ‘erisitc’ to describe the dilemma” 80 does not, without begging the question of Meno’s character, imply that Meno’s own “motives for using the argument are bad” ibid.

In the light of this, it is slightly perverse to claim that “[b]y mentioning the possibility that the questioner is ‘erisitc'” Socrates is imputing that failing to Meno Let us look at the four cases that Scott identifies as involving Socrates being put on trial.

Scott is surely right to describe the question of virtue’s acquisition as one of “urgency” for Platobut it is unclear why one should not regard it as similarly urgent for Meno. The Legacy of the Meno Paradox: Scott contends that once Socrates takes up the question of virtue’s teachability, Meno shows signs of having improved: