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Plato Meno In Platos dialogue Socrates discusses ways in which virtue can be acquired with Meno Three possibilities are confronted first that virtue is innate within the human soul The second suggests that virtue can be taught and the third possibility is that virtue is a gift from the gods These ways are debated by Socrates and Meno to a very broad conclusion Socrates poses the question that virtue may be innate within the human soul This is to say that all people would have virtue within them but it is only those who find it that can truly become virtuous To prove the concept of innate understanding to Meno Socrates acquires the help of one of Menos slave boys to demonstrate Socrates establishes that the boy has never been taught mathematical geometry and starts bombarding him with a series of questions on the physical properties of a square First heasks the boy to multiply the square by two and he succeeds However the boy fails when asked to divide the same square into two parts half the original size By asking the boy a series of questions yet never actually telling him the answers Socrates helps the slave to recollect the knowledge that is within him Meno is of course astonished with this feat that Socrates maintains is simply a matter of recollection This example given by Socrates though obviously persuasive to Meno is somewhat unstable It can be shown that Socrates manipulated the boy into recollecting the information by offering suggestive material within his questions For example if a person did not know the sum of the equation two plus two one could ask if a person had two apples and someone else gave them two more would the person then not have four apples in total A question was asked yet the information on how to perform the operation was directly given in the statement Thus it can be reasoned that
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