Socrates 's Relationship Between Knowledge And True Opinion Essay

920 Words Jul 1st, 2015 4 Pages
Plato’s dialogue Meno touches on many important questions of virtue and the ability to teach someone to be good. Arguably one of the most interesting of these questions concerns the nature of learning itself, as Socrates and Meno discuss the relationship between knowledge and true opinion. Socrates concludes by not only defining knowledge and true opinion as separate entities, but also by placing knowledge as the higher of the two in value. He makes this value judgment by pointing to knowledge’s status as opinion that is substantiated with reasoning and truths, arguing this makes knowledge concrete and unwavering. However, due to the notion of change as the central tenant in the search of scientific knowledge, I am inclined to disagree with this static description.
Towards the end of Meno, Socrates states that knowledge differs from true opinion in its ability to last over long periods of time. Socrates acknowledges that in many ways, knowledge and true opinion are equal; since both are certainly true, they lead to correct action without distinction. For example, in the passage Socrates compares a man who knows the way to Larisa to one who has a right opinion about the directions but has never actually been there, concluding that both would be equally competent guides. However, knowledge is, he argues, “fastened by the tie of the cause,” meaning one who has knowledge of a certain statement has grounded that truth in explanations and reasoning. Earlier in Meno, Socrates hints…

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