The Meno – “No one wants what is bad” (78a).
During Socrates and Meno’s search to find out what virtue is, they “have found many virtues while looking for one” (74a). Their conversation had led to many different responses but one proved to be vastly interesting. Socrates states “No one wants what is bad” (78a).
After many of Meno’s thoughts of what virtue was had been discarded, Meno believes “virtue is to desire beautiful things and have the power to acquire them” (77b). Socrates reply is that if the man that desires beauty will also desire good things. What he is trying to say is that since beauty is considered a good thing, a person who desires to have beautiful things only wants what is good. Meno believes that not all men want good things, but some want bad things. Socrates response is to ask Meno if they desire what is bad by believing it is good or desiring what is bad by knowing it is bad.
Meno believes that there are both kinds of men in the world that desire what is bad. “There are some who believe that the bad things benefit them, others who know that the bad things harm them” (77d). Socrates analyzes what had been said my Meno and had produced a response. He states that those men that do not realize what is bad think that it is good. They do not recognize that those things are in fact bad. Socrates also states that those who believe that bad things are in fact bad will recognize that they could be harmed.
Socrates uses an example to show Meno that no one wants what is bad for them. Socrates using the comparison of being miserable and being unhappy, asking Meno if anyone desires to be both miserable and unhappy. Meno’s reply is that he does not think people wish for those two things. This leads to the conclusion states by Socrates the “no one then wants what is bad” (78a), they only desire what they believe is good.
This dialogue between Socrates and Meno fits well into conversation. They had been on a search to find out what virtue is...
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