Thursday, January 7, 2010

Can virtue be taught?

Meno asks Socrates a question left unanswered: “Can you tell me, Socrates, whether virtue is acquired by teaching or practice, or if by neither teaching nor practice, whether it comes to us by nature or some other way?” (Meno 70 a). Aristotle felt that virtue can be taught.
If virtue can be taught, (and it is my contention that it can and it should) particularly to students of medicine who will be dealing with the lives of people whose illness rendered them vulnerable: how can this be done and will it survive modern times?

Picture: Triumph of Virtue over Vice Paolo Veronese about 1554-1556Oil on canvas, 295 x 165 cmVenice, Palazzo Ducale, Stanza dei Tre Capi del Consiglio dei Dieci