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Plato’s View on Life and How One Acquires Knowledge

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By bmdurham
Words 881
Pages 4
Billy Durham
Instructor Josh Dohmen
Philosophy 1101-002
25 February 2013
Plato’s View on Life and How One Acquires Knowledge
Plato is a well-known, intellectual Athenian philosopher that was born into an aristocratic family. Due to his family’s wealth, Plato was able to receive some of best education available to Athenians. When Plato was a pupil, he became infatuated with his Sophist Socrates. Socrates was a Greek philosopher and he was known to preach endlessly about his ideas and theories to anyone that would listen. Plato’s most renowned work comes from his Five Dialogues. In two of Plato’s dialogues, Meno and Phaedo, Socrates is the protagonist and Plato uses his character to portray his philosophical views of life and how one can go about acquiring knowledge.
The Meno consists of a discussion between Socrates and his companion, Meno, in which Meno is trying to inquire information on whether “virtue can be taught? Or is it not teachable but the result of practice, or is it neither of these, but men possess it by nature or in some other way” (70a). In the beginning of the dialogue, Socrates asks Meno to define what virtue is and after numerous attempts, Socrates comes to realize that he himself is unclear on whether or not virtue can be taught so he suggests that they can seek out the answer together. Meno is puzzled because he doesn’t know how the two of them will search and acquire knowledge on virtue if they are both unfamiliar with the subject. Socrates’ responds with a debate he once heard from some priests and priestesses about how “the human soul is immortal; at times it comes to an end, which they call dying; at times it is reborn, but it is never destroyed, and one must therefore live one's life as piously as possible" (81b). Socrates informs Meno that knowledge is derived from the immortality of the human soul, not via learning, and “it is in…...

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