Which Is Better, True Belief and Knowledge?

Topics: Truth, Plato, Belief Pages: 4 (1362 words) Published: May 8, 2011
In Meno, Socrates and Meno have a discussion on virtue and they encounter a problem. If virtue is teachable, it must be knowledge. However, since there are no teachers and students of virtue, virtue must not be taught. So they think that virtue is not knowledge. And then they start the discussion on what is true belief and knowledge. In this essay, I would evaluate Socrates’s explanation on why knowledge is better than mere true belief and the reasons that I agree with Socrates’s proposition. Socrates’s explanation

To begin with, Socrates first questions whether true belief is something no less useful than knowledge. Socrates notes that true belief and knowledge guide to the true action. He illustrates the idea by an example. To clarify Socrates’s example, I will apply his example on our campus. Suppose I need to guide a friend to Chong Yuet Ming Physics Building. I have no idea where it locate and I haven’t been to there. Now, I can visit the building if someone with the knowledge of the path guides me there or I have the knowledge of the path. But a true belief, which may be the intuition, perception, will also be equally effective in reaching the destination. If my belief is that the destination is northwest of the main building, and I convince my friend to the destination. From an outside observer, he cannot distinguish whether I have the knowledge of the path or I just luckily arrive there according to my true belief. Socrates states that “correct opinion (true belief) is no less useful than knowledge” because no matter which proposition, either true belief or knowledge, someone’s action still can be guided correctly. Although I do not agree this statement, I will discuss it in later paragraph. So, what makes the different between true belief and knowledge? Socrates thinks that the difference between them is the justification, which is the reasoning or the rationale for your belief. The person with knowledge has the ability to account of the why behind the...
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