1   Meno begins by asking whether virtue is taught. What reason does Socrates give for not trying to answer this question?

When Meno asks Socrates where virtue comes from, his basic reply is that virtue is a relative notion,

and that no one can truly know what virtue is because everyone has a different perception, as virtue

is fundamentally an idea. Meno himself unwittingly admits this when Socrates asks him to first

define what virtue is. Meno has a misguided idea that for each race, sex, age and social position,

there is a different kind of virtue and so answers according to this misinformed worldview. Often,

Socrates pretends to be ignorant about the subject and asks the pupil to teach him about whatever

the subject they ask him about. After they have defined their argument, Socrates begins to dissect it,

pointing out the fallibilities of their argument, but rather than simply telling them what is wrong with

their argument, he uses analogies and forces his students to admit the flaws in their previous

argument, which the student does every time he uses this method.

2   What, according to Socrates, is wrong with Meno’s first attempt to say what virtue is?

Meno’s first mistake is forgetting that virtue is not a fixed object, it is an idea. Secondly, he assumes

that people have a different outlook on life depending on their social position and therefore will also

have different virtues.   Socrates starts to anatomize his flawed argument by painting an analogy of a

swarm of bees and asking him if they are any different qualities that distinguish any one bee apart

from the rest. Meno answers in the negative and Socrates uses this analogy to show that there is no

true difference with virtue.

3 What is Socrates’s objection to Meno’s second attempt to say what virtue is?

Meno appears to be quite narrow-minded as he makes the statement that virtue is the ability to

rule. Socrates gently points...