The Examining Life

Episode 5: Plato's Meno

Welcome to "The Examining Life," a podcast of the Arts of Liberty Project. Hosted by Drs. Jeffrey Lehman and Andrew Seeley, the podcast covers both works from the Western tradition and contemporary events of interest. Lively, personal, and timely, "The Examining Life" contributes to the renewal of liberal education.

This week on the Examining Life podcast, join Drs. Jeffery Lehman and Andrew Seeley as they discuss the Meno of Plato. Is Socrates a disingenuous teacher, or is there more to his method?

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Podcast Colloquy Excerpt

Meno: "Socrates, I certainly used to hear, even before meeting you, that you never do anything else than exist in a state of perplexity yourself and put others in a state of perplexity. And now you seem to me to be bewitching me and drugging me and simply subduing me with incantations, so that I come to be full of perplexity. And you seem to me, if it is even appropriate to make something of a joke, to be altogether, both in looks and in other respects, like the flat torpedo-fish of the sea. For, indeed, it always makes anyone who approaches and touches it grow numb, and you seem to me now to have done that very sort of thing to me, making me numb." (79e8-80a9)


Socrates: "I understand the sort of thing you want to say, Meno. Do you not see how inclined to strife this argument you are drawing out is, that it is not possible for a human being to seek either what he knows or what he does not know? For he could not seek for what he knows, because he knows it and then there’s no need of any seeking for this sort of person; nor could he seek for what he does not know, because then he does not know what he is seeking." (80e1-9)

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Full Text of Plato's Meno

Find the entirety of Plato's Meno in an English translation here, or in English and Greek here.

Dr. Lehman's Socratic Conversation

Explore the philosophical dialogue in the Western tradition, with Dr. Lehman's book, Socratic Conversation.