Finding Refuge in Ignorance

4 April 2015
This paper looks at Socrates’ belief that one knows nothing and examines what virtue actually is.

A discussion of whether it is possible to arrive at the truth by purely asking questions and refuting poorly constructed arguments and how one defines and recognizes virtue. The author examines the philosophies of Plato and Socrates in order to determine whether one in fact knows nothing and whether virtue or in fact anything, can be taught or learned.
Socrates was killed for the radical ways in which his questions undermined the defined reality of Grecian society. Plato certainly did not want to follow in his teacher’s footsteps in this particular fashion, and one can find within elements of his dialogues a hesitance to take his questions regarding the foundation of culture to their logical extents. For example, in Meno he temporarily defines virtue as wisdom in order to prove that it cannot be taught, and while he takes that definition away again, the fact that this line of questioning might eventually discredit virtue altogether is neatly sidestepped.

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Plato claims for Socrates ignorance only to the degree of innocence, but by pitting Socrates against flawed opponents, he does not push that radical ignorance to such a degree that it could threaten the supports of society.

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Finding Refuge in Ignorance. (2015, Apr 23). Retrieved December 5, 2019, from
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