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PERSONS OF THE DIALOGUE: Meno, Socrates, A Slave of Meno (Boy), Anytus.

MENO: Can you tell me, Socrates, whether virtue is acquired by teaching
or by practice; or if neither by teaching nor by practice, then whether
it comes to man by nature, or in what other way?

SOCRATES: O Meno, there was a time when the Thessalians were famous
among the other Hellenes only for their riches and their riding; but
now, if I am not mistaken, they are equally famous for their wisdom,
especially at Larisa, which is the native city of your friend
Aristippus. And this is Gorgias’ doing; for when he came there, the
flower of the Aleuadae, among them your admirer Aristippus, and the
other chiefs of the Thessalians, fell in love with his wisdom. And he
has taught you the habit of answering questions in a grand and bold
style, which becomes those who know, and is the style in which he
himself answers all comers; and any Hellene who likes may ask him
anything. How different is our lot! my dear Meno. Here at Athens there
is a dearth of the commodity, and all wisdom seems to have emigrated
from us to you. I am certain that if you were to ask any Athenian
whether virtue was natural or acquired, he would laugh in your face,
and say: ‘Stranger, you have far too good an opinion of me, if you think
that I can answer your question. For I literally do not know what virtue
is, and much less whether it is acquired by teaching or not.’ And I
myself, Meno, living as I do in this region of poverty, am as poor as
the rest of the world; and I confess with shame that I know literally
nothing about virtue; and when I do not know the ‘quid’ of anything how
can I know the ‘quale’? How, if I knew nothing at all of Meno, could
I tell if he was fair, or the opposite of fai

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Weight 3.5 oz
Dimensions 7.5 × 5.5 × 0.5 in