MENO'S PARADOX

(a paradox of learning: see 80d)

 

(A) If we don't know what X is, how can we recognize it?

(B) If we can't recognize X, how can we learn what X is?


A related dilemma (called a "debater's trick" by Socrates):

(1) We know what X is.

(Then we are not motivated to inquire into what X is.)

(2) We don't know what X is.

(Then we are motivated to inquire, but are frustrated by the paradox, since we cannot recognize instances of X, or what X is in general, to find out what X is.)


Socrates' solution:

True opinions reside in the immortal soul, but have to be remembered (cf., Meno's slave's geometry).