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The Second Story of Meno; a continuation of Socrates' dialogue with Meno in which the boy proves root 2 is irrational

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49 pages
The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Second Story of Meno, by UnknownThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.org** This is a COPYRIGHTED Project Gutenberg eBook, Details Below ** ** Please follow the copyright guidelines in thisfile. **Title: The Second Story of Meno A Continuation of Socrates' Dialogue with Meno in Which the Boy Proves Toot 2 isIrrational, A Millennium Fulcrum Edition [Copyright 1995]Author: UnknownRelease Date: July 6, 2008 [EBook #254]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE SECOND STORY OF MENO ***MENO IIA CONTINUATION OF SOCRATES' DIALOGUE WITH MENO IN WHICH THE BOY PROVES ROOT 2 IS IRRATIONALBy SocratesA Millennium Fulcrum Edition [Copyright 1995]Socrates: Well, here we are at the appointed time, Meno.Meno: Yes, and it looks like a fine day for it, too.Socrates: And I see our serving boy is also here.Boy: Yes, I am, and ready to do your bidding.Socrates: Wonderful. Now, Meno, I want you to be on your guard, as you were the other day, to insure that I teach nothingto the boy, but rather pull out of his mind the premises which are already there.Meno: I shall do my best, Socrates.Socrates: I can ask more of no man, Meno, and I am certain that you will do well, and I hope I will give you no call to haltme in ...
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Second Storyof Meno, by UnknownThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere atno cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under theterms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org** This is a COPYRIGHTED Project GutenbergeBook, Details Below ** ** Please follow thecopyright guidelines in this file. **STiotlcer: atTehse'  DSieacloognud e Stwoitrhy  oMf enMoe inno  WA hCicohn ttihneu aBtiooyn ofProves Toot 2 is Irrational, A Millennium FulcrumEdition [Copyright 1995]Author: UnknownRelease Date: July 6, 2008 [EBook #254]Language: English*E*B* OSTOAK RTTH OE FS TEHCIOS NPDR SOTJOECRTY  GOUF TMEENNBOE R**G*
MENO IIA CONTINUATION OF SOCRATES' DIALOGUEWITH MENO IN WHICH THE BOY PROVESROOT 2 IS IRRATIONALBy SocratesA Millennium Fulcrum Edition [Copyright 1995]Socrates: Well, here we are at the appointed time,oneM.Meno: Yes, and it looks like a fine day for it, too.Socrates: And I see our serving boy is also here.Boy: Yes, I am, and ready to do your bidding.Socrates: Wonderful. Now, Meno, I want you to be
on your guard, as you were the other day, toipnusllu roeu tt hoaf t hIi st emaicnhd  ntohteh ipnrge tmoi stehse  wbohiyc, hb aurt er aatlhreeradythere.Meno: I shall do my best, Socrates.Socrates: I can ask more of no man, Meno, and Iam certain that you will do well, and I hope I willgive you no call to halt me in my saying if I shouldsay too much, in which you would feel I wasactually teaching the boy the answer to this riddle.Meno: No, Socrates, I don't think I will have to callyou on anything you might say today, for the mostwondrously learned men of the group ofPythagoras have spent many hours, weeks, andeven months and years toiling in their manner toarrive at the mystic solutions to the puzzles formedby the simple squares with which we worked theother day. Therefore, I am certain to regain myvirtue, which I lost the other day, when I was sosteadfastly proven by you to be in error in mystatement that the root of a square with an area oftwo square feet was beyond this boy, who is a fineboy, whom we must make to understand that heshould do his best here, and not feel that he hasdone any wrongness by causing me to lose myvirtue to you the other day.Socrates: Meno, my friend, it is my opinion, and Ihope it will soon be yours, that your virtue wasincreased the other day, rather than decreased.Meno: I fail to see how, when I was humiliated by
Meno: I fail to see how, when I was humiliated byseeing this young boy, of modest education, arrivein minutes at the highest mystic levels of the magicof the Pythagoreans. Most of all when I wageredas many dinners as you could eat at my house thatthis could not be the case.Socrates: First, friend Meno, let me assure youthat I will promise never to eat you out of houseand home, not that I could if I tried, for my tastesare simple and your wallet is large. Nevertheless,Meno, my friend, I would hasten to add that I willpromise, if you like, not to ever come to your tableuninvited.As a second reason you and your virtue should feelbetter after the events of the other day, becauseyou were in error before, but are less in error now.And the path to virtue, at least one aspect of thepath to virtue, is in finding and correcting error.Meno: Socrates, you know you are alwayswelcome at my table, except when I am sufferingfrom my ulcer, which you aggravate greatly, or attimes when I am entertaining the highest nobles ofthe land, and you would appear out of place in yourclothing. (Socrates was known for his simple attire,and for wearing his garments over and over till theywore out. However, the only surviving example ofhis writing is a laundry list, so we know he kept hisclothes clean and somewhat presentable, thoughsimple)Socrates: I would hope you would have me overbecause I was a good influence on your
development, than for any other reason. I noticeyou did not respond to my claim to have increasedyour virtue, through the exorcism of your error.Meno: Well Socrates, you know that it is notalways the easiest thing to give up one's ways,even though one has found them to be in error.Therefore, please forgive me if I am not soundingas grateful as you would like for your lessons.Socrates: The easier one finds it to give up thewwiatyh st hoaf t erwrhoirc, ht hwee  ehaospieer  iist  inso tt oi nr eeprlraocr.e  Itsh teh iesr rnoortthe way to virtue?hMaernd,o :a nYde st,h aSto cwrea toefts,e na nstdu ymobul ek naonwd  ftahlel. path isSocrates: Yes, but is it not true that we stumbleand fall over the obstacles which we make forourselves to trip over?Meno: Certainly that is most true, Socrates, insome cases.hSooucrr aits eus:p oWn eull,s  twhheen,n  lIe td uo s mpyr obceeset dt,h finokri In gs,e ae ntdheitth sath ahllo pura sssh aal l bbite  opf aysosuer di gsnooorna, nacne.d hopefully withMeno: Well said, Socrates. I am with you.Socrates: And shall have we a wager on the eventsof today?
Meno: Certainly, Socrates.Socrates: And what shall you wager against thisbwiotyh  parno vairnega t hofa tt twhoe  slqeunagrteh  foef etth, ec raononto to fb ae  smqaudaereby the ratio of two whole numbers?Meno: You may have anything it is in my power togive, unless it cause harm to myself or to anotherto give it.Socrates: Well said, my friend Meno, and I shallleave it at that. And what shall I offer you as areturn wager?Meno: Well, the easiest thing which comes to mindis to wager all those dinners you won from me theother day.Socrates: Very well, so be it.Meno: Now Socrates, since you are my friend, Imust give you this friendly warning: you know thatthe Pythagoreans jealously guard their secrets withsecret meetings, protected by secret handshakes,secret signs, passwords, and all that, do you not?Socrates: I have heard as much, friend Meno.Meno: Then be sure that they will seek revengeupon you for demystifying the ideas and conceptswhich they worked so long and hard and secretly tocreate and protect; for they are a jealous lot in theextreme, hiding in mountain caves, which arehardly fit to be called monasteries by even the
most hardened monk.Socrates: I take your meaning, friend Meno, andthank you for your consideration, but I think that if Ilose, that they will not bother me, and if I win, it willappear so simple to everyone, that if would besheerest folly for anyone to make even thesmallest gesture to protect its fallen mysticsecrecy. Besides, I have a citizen's responsibility toAthens and to all Athenians to do my best toprotect them and enlighten them.Meno: Very well, Socrates. Please do not ever saythat I did not try to warn you, especially after theyhave nailed you to a cross in a public place, whereanyone and everyone could hear you say that thefault of this lay in my name.Socrates: Do not worry, friend Meno, for if I werenot to show this simple feat of logic to you, I shouldjust walk down the street and find someone else,though not someone whose company andconversation I should enjoy as much as yours.Meno: Thank you, friend Socrates.Socrates: Now, boy, do you remember me, andthe squares with which we worked and played theother day?Boy: Yes, sir, Socrates.Socrates: Please, Meno, instruct the boy to merelycall me by my name, as does everyone else.Calling me "sir" merely puts me off my mental
stride, and, besides, it will create a greaterdistance between me and the boy.Meno: You heard what Socrates, said, boy. Canyou do it?Boy: Yes, sir. (Turning to Socrates) You know I likeyou very much, and that I call you "sir" not only outof relation of our positions in society, but alsobecause of my true respect and admiration,especially after the events of the other day.Socrates: Yes, boy. And I will try to live up to yourexpectations. (Turning to Meno) Would you allowsome reward for the boy, as well as that which isfor myself, if he should prove to your satisfactionthat the square root of two is irrational?Meno: Certainly, Socrates.lSikoec rtahtee sm: o(tsat kiinn tgh teh ew hboolye  awsoirdled),  bWohya?t would youBoy: You mean anything?Socrates: Well, I can't guarantee to get it for you,but at least I can ask it, and it shouldn't hurt to ask;and besides, as you should know, it is very hard toexpect someone to give you what you want, if younever let them know you want it.Boy: Well, Socrates… you know what I would want.Socrates: Do I?
Boy: Better than I knew the square root of two theother day.Socrates: You want to be a free man, then, and acitizen.Boy: (looking down) Yes.aSdocmriartaebsl:e  Ddeosni'rt el ofoork  odnoew tno,  thhaevne,,  faorn td hsapt eisa kasnhighly of him who has it. I will speak to Meno, whileyou hold your tongue.Boy: Yes, Socrates. (bows to kiss his hand,Socrates turns)Socrates: Friend Meno, how hard do you think itwill be for this boy to prove the irrationality of thesquare root of two?Meno: You know that I think it is impossible,Socrates.Socrates: Well, how long did it take thePythagoreans?Meno: I should think it took them years.Socrates: And how many of them were there?aMnedn so:o mQeu ithea rad lfye wa,t  tahll,o ufogrh  tnhoety  awll ewreo rkmeods tequally,ivnatreireetys,t eadn idn  ntroita inng lseqsu oafr etsh ea rnidg htth eainr dr ovoirttsu.ous
Socrates: Can you give me an estimate?Meno: No, I can't say that I can. I am sorry,Socrates.Socrates: No problem, would you accept fivethinkers as an estimate.Meno: I think that should be fair.Socrates: And shall we assume they worked fortwo years, that is the smallest number whichretains the plural, and our assumption was thatthey worked for years.Meno: Two years is indeed acceptable to me,Socrates.tShoact rtahtee sP: yVtherayg owreella tnhse sn,p eMnte n1o0,  tito twalo yuleda rasp pofearthinking time to solve the riddles of the square rootof two.Meno: I agree.PSyotchraatgeosr:e aAnnsd  two oruulnd  yyoouur  lihkoe utsoe hhiorled ,t hMeeno?Meno: Surely I would, Socrates, if they were onlyfor hire, but, as you well know, they are a secretlot, and hire to no one.Socrates: Well, if I could get you one, perhaps oneof the best of them, in fact the leader of the groupthat solved the square root of two, would you not
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