Reading Three – Crosstalk
One of the reasons the search for a definiton seems
so destructive is its negation of presumed knowledge without replacing
it with knowledge equally secure. Related to this is the sense that the
relentless repeated question, „What is arete“ has an aim that is not explicitly
articulated – the question itself and its urgency emerge from and/or addreess
themselves to a conception of „definition“ that is not shared.
As I venture in the
first reading, I think that this conception of definition is to be
extrapolated from the ways in which Socrates negates Meno’s first attempts
to describe arete and from the definitions of „shape“ and „color“
Here I want to supplement my picture of „definition“
in the Meno, by adding to my extrapolation from within the dialogue with
an interpolation from another dialogue, namely, the Cratylus.
I think this dialogue supplies a term that is not yet available in the
Meno, a term that names a necessary component of the ideal definition.
We find it here:
The word in the
Greek is ousia, „essence“ or „true nature“ of a thing.
Meno Reading Two
Meno Reading Four
Ion Reading One
Why and how to read