On Human Excellence: Plato’s Meno as “Philosophical Drama”
“Can you tell me, Socrates — is virtue something that can be taught? Or does it come by practice? Or is it neither teaching nor practice that gives it to a man but natural aptitude or something else?”
With this provocative four-part question begins one of the most compact meditations on human excellence ever composed: Plato’s Meno, a “dialogue” (mostly) between the great philosopher Socrates and his acquaintance Meno. This course is devoted to a very close reading and analysis of Plato’s short text in order to understand both the work’s philosophical elements and its dramatic elements — as well as the interaction between the two — all in an effort to comprehend Plato’s ultimate response to Meno’s initial question.