My answer to the "What is virtue?" question is that it's whatever a man does to lengthen his or her life. Men. I cannot help feeling, Socrates, that this case is different from the others. \n Soc. But why? Were you not saying that the virtue of a man was to order a state, and the virtue of a woman was to order a house? \n Men. I did say so. \n Soc. And can either house or state or anything be well ordered without temperance and without justice? \n Men. Certainly not. \n Soc. Then they who order a state or a house temperately or justly order them with temperance and justice? \n Men. Certainly. \n Soc. Then both men and women, if they are to be good men and women, must have the same virtues of temperance and justice? \n Men. True. \n Soc. And can either a young man or an elder one be good, if they are intemperate and unjust? \n Men. They cannot. \n Soc. They must be temperate and just? \n Men. Yes. \n Soc. Then all men are good in the same way, and by participation in the same virtues? \n Men. Such is the inference. \n Soc. And they surely would not have been good in the same way, unless their virtue had been the same? \n Men. They would not. \n Soc. Then now that the sameness of all virtue has been proven, try and remember what you and Gorgias say that virtue is. \n \n \n isn't considering it proven by particular examples of young or an older man doesn't comply with the demand put by Socrates himself to accept only logically precise necessary and sufficient conditions? \n Soc. Well, I will try and explain to you what figure is. What do you say to this answer?-Figure is the only thing which always follows colour. Will you be satisfied with it, as I am sure that I should be, if you would let me have a similar definition of virtue? \n Men. But, Socrates, it is such a simple answer. \n Soc. Why simple? \n Men. Because, according to you, figure is that which always follows colour. \n (Soc. Granted.) \n Men. But if a person were to say that he does not know what colour is, any more than what figure is-what sort of answer would you have given him? \n Soc. I should have told him the truth. And if he were a philosopher of the eristic and antagonistic sort, I should say to him: You have my answer, and if I am wrong, your business is to take up the argument and refute me. But if we were friends, and were talking as you and I are now, I should reply in a milder strain and more in the dialectician's vein; that is to say, I should not only speak the truth, but I should make use of premisses which the person interrogated would be willing to admit. And this is the way in which I shall endeavour to approach you. You will acknowledge, will you not, that there is such a thing as an end, or termination, or extremity?-all which words use in the same sense, although I am aware that Prodicus might draw distinctions about them: but still you, I am sure, would speak of a thing as ended or terminated-that is all which I am saying-not anything very difficult. \n \n \n \n at first I thought that Socrates gave classic childish 'ancient philosopher' answer akin to the 'everything is made from water' by Thales. The first answer I felt would sound scientific enough which came into my head was something I probably learned from the school geometry lessons - figure is a set of adjacent points. It took some time for me to get that a Form (in the socratic sense) of a figure would be. But what follows color is really the most precise definition of any empirically attested, that is sensed, and thus really existing object. It's funny that abstract in definition appeared the most obvious one. Soc. Now, if there be any sort-of good which is distinct from knowledge, virtue may be that good; but if knowledge embraces all good, then we shall be right in think in that virtue is knowledge? \n Men. True. \n while knowledge itself is all good the subject of the knowledge can be of any kind (disease, etc). \n Soc. What do you say of him, Meno? Were not all these answers given out of his own head? \n Men. Yes, they were all his own \n \n \n this is of course simply not true. Socrates clearly gave all the answers in his questions. Also Meno's, or rather, sophists' though idea that \n\n “ man cannot enquire either about that which he knows, or about that which he does not know; for if he knows, he has no need to enquire; and if not, he cannot; for he does not know the, very subject about which he is to enquire ” \n\n sounds dubious. People can perfectly combine what they know in a fancy ways and ponder on what would come out of it. If a man once traveled at least to the nearest village he's got enough input to wonder about the limits of unreachable. \n\n Would be interesting to hear Socrates explanations on why boy's soul kept memories about squares sizes but not how and when it was acquired. \n\n Soc. And if we are good, then we are profitable; for all good things are profitable? \n \n why?!! \n Any. And I have no wish to be acquainted. \n Soc. Then, my dear friend, how can you know whether a thing is good or bad of which you are wholly ignorant? \n \n recollected, why not? \n\n