Meno

by

Plato

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Gorgias Character Analysis

A Sophist known throughout Athens for teaching his pupils to employ fanciful rhetoric in order to provide an answer to any question they might encounter. Meno has studied with Gorgias and learned this style of debate, which is why he’s so surprised to hear that Socrates does not profess to know the nature of virtue.

Gorgias Quotes in Meno

The Meno quotes below are all either spoken by Gorgias or refer to Gorgias. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Teaching, Learning, and Intellectual Inquiry Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Hackett edition of Meno published in 2002.
Meno Quotes

In particular, he accustomed you to give a bold and grand answer to any question you may be asked, as experts are likely to do. Indeed, he himself was ready to answer any Greek who wished to question him, and every question was answered. But here in Athens, my dear Meno, the opposite is the case, as if there were a dearth of wisdom, and wisdom seems to have departed hence to go to you. If then you want to ask one of us that sort of question, everyone will laugh and say: “Good stranger, you must think me happy indeed if you think I know whether virtue can be taught or how it comes to be; I am so far from knowing whether virtue can be taught or not that I do not even have any knowledge of what virtue itself is.”

Related Characters: Socrates (speaker), Meno, Gorgias
Page Number: 60
Explanation and Analysis:
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Gorgias Character Timeline in Meno

The timeline below shows where the character Gorgias appears in Meno. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Meno
Teaching, Learning, and Intellectual Inquiry Theme Icon
Language, Rhetoric, and Reasoning Theme Icon
Virtue, Ignorance, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...any question, no matter how complex. This, Socrates says, is because Meno has studied with Gorgias, who has taught him to “give a bold and grand answer to any question.” Socrates,... (full context)
Teaching, Learning, and Intellectual Inquiry Theme Icon
Language, Rhetoric, and Reasoning Theme Icon
Virtue, Ignorance, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...has never met anyone who knows the true nature of virtue. “Did you not meet Gorgias when he was here?” Meno asks, but Socrates assures him that he did and that,... (full context)
Language, Rhetoric, and Reasoning Theme Icon
Virtue, Ignorance, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...of all is the same,” Socrates says, “try to tell me and to remember what Gorgias, and you with him, said that that same thing is.” In response, Meno says that... (full context)