The Thinking 

November 30, 2011


Sant Margaret, Titian; 1559

Saint Margaret, Titian; 1559


Reading The Meno

November 30, 2011


IN A piece at The Brussels Journal, Richard Cocks, a professor at an unnamed university, describes teaching the Platonic dialogue, the Meno, to his ethics class. His course becomes an extended exploration of the central question in the Meno: How do we arrive at moral knowledge?

Cocks’ students are disappointed at Socrates’ conclusion, which is that morality ultimately comes from a supernatural source. The professor writes:

Many of my students claimed to enjoy reading the Meno, but that they were disappointed by the ending. They felt that all their hard work had gone unrewarded. Claiming that the right opinion that contributes to virtue is from the divine is a cheat and a cop out, as though Socrates is merely hoping to hide the fact that he has no real explanation.

The essay would make an excellent guide for homeschooling parents introducing older students to Plato.