Plato: Meno & Learning Virtue

Rufus F.

Rufus is an American curmudgeon in Canada. He has a PhD in History, sings in a garage rock band, and does many things. He is the author of the forthcoming book "The Paris Bureau" from Dio Press (early 2021).

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2 Responses

  1. sam says:

    “It’s humbling to think of wisdom as a matter of luck, of course.”

    Hmm. Now you’ve got me. I’ll have to go back reread Meno because Martha Nussbaum, in The Fragility of Goodness, convinced me that Plato’s problem with the tragic poets was that they described a universe in which moral luck was a controlling factor, and this Plato could not abide; that Plato, contra the poets, embarked on an “heroic attempt, in middle-period dialogues, to save the lives of human beings by making them immune to [moral] luck.”

    BTW, one of the best commentaries on the Meno that I read is Jacob Klein’s Commentary on Plato’s Meno. If you don’t read Greek (and I don’t), it’s a treat. There’s some vicious punning on Meno’s name that, I take it, had them slapping their knees in Athens.Report

    • Rufus F. in reply to sam says:

      @sam, Ah, maybe luck is the wrong word then- could we say wisdom is a blessing? I was thinking that, compared to our view of genius as an individual trait, it’s less of a burden to think of it as something that comes to you and leaves, a bit like a cold.Report