Meno's Paradox in Context


I argue that Meno’s Paradox targets the type of knowledge that Socrates has been looking for earlier in the dialogue: knowledge grounded in explanatory definitions. Socrates places strict requirements on definitions and thinks we need these definitions to acquire knowledge. Meno’s challenge uses Socrates’ constraints to argue that we can neither propose definitions nor recognize them. To understand Socrates’ response to the challenge, we need to view Meno’s challenge and Socrates’ response as part of a larger disagreement about the value of inquiry.

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References found in this work

Plato’s Ethics.Terence Irwin - 1995 - Oxford University Press.
Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker.Hermann Diels - 1904 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 24 (6):167.
Plato's Meno.Dominic Scott - 2006 - Cambridge University Press.
Inquiry in the Meno.Gail Fine - 1992 - In R. Kraut (ed.), Cambridge Companion to Plato. Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work

Why Are There Two Versions of Meno’s Paradox?Douglas A. Shepardson - forthcoming - Southern Journal of Philosophy.
Meno’s Paradox and Medicine.Nicholas Binney - 2019 - Synthese 196 (10):4253-4278.

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