KNOWLEDGE OF THE GOOD: VIRTUE IN THE MENO AND PROTAGORAS
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In both the Meno and the Protagoras, Plato investigates the unity, acquisition and nature of virtue (ἀρετή). Although these dialogues appear to reach opposing conclusions—the Protagoras that virtue is knowledge and the Meno that virtue is divinely dispensed true opinion—in fact they both articulate the same moral principle. Both dialogues argue that virtue is knowledge of the good. I investigate these two dialogues independently and on their own respective terms, dedicating Chapter 2 to the Protagoras and Chapter 3 to the Meno. Although both dialogues argue that virtue is knowledge of the good, neither offers an account of the good. This is because each dialogue is but a single part of a larger argument which culminates in the Republic, wherein we find a more complete explanation of knowledge of the good in the description of the philosopher-king.