The Meno by Plato. - HTML preview
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There are no external criteria by which we can
‘general definitions’ of Socrates is added the determine the date of the Meno. There is no rea-Platonic doctrine of reminiscence. The problems son to suppose that any of the Dialogues of Plato of virtue and knowledge have been discussed in were written before the death of Socrates; the the Lysis, Laches, Charmides, and Protagoras; the Meno, which appears to be one of the earliest of puzzle about knowing and learning has already them, is proved to have been of a later date by appeared in the Euthydemus. The doctrines of the allusion of Anytus.
immortality and pre-existence are carried further We cannot argue that Plato was more likely to in the Phaedrus and Phaedo; the distinction be-have written, as he has done, of Meno before than tween opinion and knowledge is more fully de-after his miserable death; for we have already veloped in the Theaetetus. The lessons of seen, in the examples of Charmides and Critias, Prodicus, whom he facetiously calls his master, that the characters in Plato are very far from are still running in the mind of Socrates. Unlike resembling the same characters in history. The the later Platonic Dialogues, the Meno arrives at repulsive picture which is given of him in the no conclusion. Hence we are led to place the Dia-Anabasis of Xenophon, where he also appears as logue at some point of time later than the the friend of Aristippus ‘and a fair youth having Protagoras, and earlier than the Phaedrus and lovers,’ has no other trait of likeness to the Meno Gorgias. The place which is assigned to it in this of Plato.
work is due mainly to the desire to bring together The place of the Meno in the series is doubtin a single volume all the Dialogues which con-fully indicated by internal evidence. The main tain allusions to the trial and death of Socrates.
character of the Dialogue is Socrates; but to the