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Virtue, Opinion and Knowledge

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In a luminous way, Plato brings out sarcasm; he describes Socrates as a wise and righteous man who lacks adequate knowledge. Plato’s portrayal of Socrates’ traits renunciation of knowledge is clearly brought out   in the Meno, Socrates declaration to have no virtue knowledge, surprises his interlocutor, memo.  Moreover Socrates maintains his doctrine of   “Socratic wisdom”-that is only true knowledge is ‘that is wisdom is valueless” (2000a, p116:24b3). Although Socrates claims to lack adequate knowledge, he is completely sure, an unusual admission of him, that “true opinion differs from knowledge. Socrates statement is very vital to his analysis with Meno, and most crucial is that, it is an important aspect in quest for better life, with this it is important to understand virtue, true opinion and knowledge.

In the Meno, Socrates debates on true opinion and knowledge.  In the course of Meno and Socrates debate on whether virtue is an active medium, Socrates and Meno bump into a setback. If virtue is can be taught, it must be then be considered as knowledge, but since there is lack of virtue teachers, it cannot be taken as knowledge (2000a, p116:24b3).From this argument it is confusing to differentiate what is knowledge and what is not knowledge? To start with Socrates depicts the difference between knowledge and a true opinion in his respond to Meno’s illogicality, Meno’s statement that one cannot question things that he/she does not know since one does not know it and cannot question. Socrates rejects Meno’s claim by demonstrating geometrically with Meno’s slave. Socrates demonstrates that the slave had true opinion about the theorem of geometry, however he had not been taught any geometry. This makes Socrates to come into a conclusion that the slave had recollection correct opinions that the soul acquired before. These forms of recollection are dissimilar from memories, which hold to daily activities and not the soul knowledge. Socrates points to the nature of knowledge by saying that recurring and assorted questioning will revolve correct opinion into “knowledge about these things that would be as precise as everyone else (2000b, p.204:85d).

 

Meno and Socrates began differentiating clearly between true opinion and knowledge. At this time, Socrates reveals the form of differentiating the two. Socrates remarks that true opinion and knowledge look very alike in terms of reaction they produce, and he demonstrates that idea by picturing a traveler on the road to Larissa. To illustrate this example in a clear way   I will use my own example based on campus. Like most of the philosophy students, I have never been in the mechanical engineering building. For now, I can go to the place if I have either the knowledge of the way to follow to the engineering building or if a friend with the knowledge to the path directs me.  But a true opinion from my recollection of knowledge from my soul concerning the path to building path will be likewise effective in getting to my destination. If my opinion that the engineering building is in south west of the dean’s office is true, and if I convince a new comer student to follow my path to the engineering building, then to an outside viewer, there would be no conspicuous difference between the path I follow and the one directed by a student who has been in the building previously. 

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Socrates asserts that true opinion is no less helpful than knowledge, in particular since it does not produce diverse actions. Moreover knowledge is very different from true opinion. From my argument, true opinion is different from knowledge because the person possessing knowledge clearly knows the why behind truth and the person with true opinion knows the merely truth.  The difference is entrenched in the stability of knowledge. The capacity to give an explanation helps in telling the bottom of the truth and how the mind preserves the knowledge to use it in future.

Today, in argument to the above we can consider this different by picturing the truth as a balloon. The individual with the knowledge then ties the balloon to the table or the wrist of children, and in this form it secures it for future entertainment. The individual who lacks knowledge sets the balloon loose, only to react in shock as the balloon fries out of reach and vanish in the air. Without any lack the individual lacking knowledge will search for another balloon. Contrary to Socrates the person is dispossessed the balloon, which is the truth, thus by having true opinions is not guaranteed one will obtain the knowledge.

 

In conclusion, in the memo, the norm for distinguishing knowledge from true opinion is the- capability of being able to give an explanation on what is behind the truth. One is considered to posses’ knowledge if he/she can give an explanation of the truth that is clearly known. On the other side knowledge is most precious because it contains the truth and an explanation, next is the true opinion which has basically least truth. In the memo it can be noted that ignorance rank to be the worst as it lacks both the explanation and the truth of the basic reasoning.

In my argument knowledge is always associated with possessing its truth. Some of the persons who claim to have knowledge are possibly incorrect because they do not have any idea about difference of true opinion and knowledge. There are distinction between the two ; in knowledge there are things which we can have information beyond any doubt while in opinions we can have a significant degree of skeptics.

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