A Commentary on Plato's Meno by Jacob Klein

By Jacob Klein

The Meno, the most generally learn of the Platonic dialogues, is obvious afresh during this unique interpretation that explores the discussion as a theatrical presentation. simply as Socrates's listeners may have wondered and tested their very own considering in keeping with the presentation, so, Klein exhibits, may still glossy readers get entangled within the drama of the discussion. Klein bargains a line-by-line statement at the textual content of the Meno itself that animates the characters and dialog and punctiliously probes every one major flip of the argument.

Originally released in 1965.

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He insists—four times (ou chalepon, rhaidion, ou chalepon, oak aporia eipein) —that this telling does not present any difficulty. T h e sort of thing h u m a n excellence is depends, according to his statement, on the circumstances of the person in whom it is exhibited, that is on his sex, his age, his status in the h u m a n community, on the kind of action he is engaged in, on the goal he pursues, and so on. A n d M e n o does not forget to add that lack of excellence manifests itself in equally diversified ways.

Life of Artaxerxes, 1. v. Artaxerxes. Xenophon, Anabasis I I , 6, 29, reports this only from hearsay. ingful in the context of the dialogue. i, memini, mens, mind. 3 2 W e note that in the n a m e " M e n o " the sequence of those two letters is somewhat deranged. As to the content and syntax of the second sentence, 33 w h a t seems to be common to the two subjects, " h e " and "you," is not c o m m o n to both, a n d it is the particle te which carries this ambiguity: Gorgias might well know what arete is, while M e n o m i g h t merely know what Gorgias said it is.

T h e irony is compounded by the immediately following exa m p l e given by Socrates to describe the dearth of wrisdom in Athens. Nobody, says Socrates, nobody in Athens would react to Meno's question in any other way than by asserting that, far from knowing the m a n n e r in which h u m a n excellence comes into being, he did n o t even know what, all in all, hu19. Aristophanes, Frogs 1491-99. 20. Cf. the notes by St. George Stock, The Notes pp. , and Thompson, pp. 59 f. 21. : e m γάρ δή πλάστη Friedlander, Platon I I , p.

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