Meno – Shape

“Shape is that which alone of current things usually follows color.”
“A shape is that which limits a solid in a word, a shape is the limit of a solid.”

In the play Meno, written by Plato, there is a point in which Meno asks that Socrates give a definition of shape. In the finish of it, Socrates is forced to give two separate definitions, for Meno considers the initially to be foolish. As the two definitions are read and compared, 1 is forced to wonder which, if either of the two, is accurate, and if neither of them are correct, which one particular has the most logic. When comparing the initial definition of shape: “that which alone of existing items constantly follows colour,” to the second definition: “the limit of a solid”, it can be observed that the difference in meaning in between the two is terrific. Not only in the sense that the first is stated just and can be defended conveniently, when the later is much more challenging to comprehend and back up but also in the sense that the second would have to involve the defiance of mathematical theories and/or proofs in order to stand correct, whilst the initial does not. It really should also be noted that in the 1st definition, the word “a” is under no circumstances pointed out. Socrates is not producing a statement about “a shape” or “a color”, but about shape and colour themselves. In the definition provided to please Meno, Socrates’ words are “a shape” and “a strong”. It can be taken from earlier discussions in the play that the second definition is basically a definition of a shape, rather than a definition of shape in and of itself.

In the straightforward sentence that Socrates initially gives to Meno, he has not offered then definition of a shape, rather he has offered the definition of the term shape. For instance, if a particular person was asked what a triangle is, the response would most most likely be that it is a shape, but shape would never be defined as shape itself. It is merely an object that falls beneath the category of shape. Consequently, in one particular sentence, Socrates has place a definition to shape, for with no colour there can be no shape, there could not even be a shape to fall beneath the category that would have once been known as “shape”. None of the examples that Socrates and Meno discussed could…

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