Plato Meno by Sharples Professor R. W.
Plato's Meno is the dialogue which more than any other occupies a transitional position between the early Socratic dialogues and the developed middle period theory of the Phaedo Symposium and Republic. It is thus of particular interest for the insights that it gives us into the process by which Plato arrived at that theory. The issues which it raises are philosophically interesting in themselves: how can we know that we have the right answer to a question unless we knew what the answer was before we asked the question in the first place? Is excellence (arete
) something that we can acquire by being taught or is it something that we are born with? And the dialogue is of historical interest for the evidence it provides both for ancient Greek notions of what constitutes excellence and for contemporary attitudes to the Sophists who claimed to teach excellence and took larger fees for doing so. Greek text with facing-page translation and notes and commentary.