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Free Example of Plato's Meno Essay

The issue of intentional and unintentional evil is the one that has been central to philosophers and thinkers for centuries. In Plato’s Meno, Socrates claims the following "It is clear then that those who do not know things to be bad do not desire what is bad, but they desire those things that they believe to be good but that are in fact bad." In the text, the philosopher argues that most people who do evil things do it unintentionally because they do not know that these things are bad. It is argued that whatever harm is done, first of all, it causes harm and unhappiness for the person responsible for it. This means that it would be illogical to believe that a person is interested in being unhappy, otherwise he or she will not do a bad thing. Therefore, according to Socrates, people are not evil by their nature but are just ignorant, consequently, not the evil but ignorance is the root of all bad things that happen in the world. Hence, the task of a philosopher is to teach people to differentiate what is right or wrong, which eventually is able to reduce the volume of the evil in the world.

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Personally, I agree with the philosopher on the statement that most negative things are done because of lack of knowledge or experience. However, I also believe that there are other reasons too, such as people’s unhappiness. When a person is unhappy due to some circumstances, they tend to react to their unhappiness through either aggression or depression. Both these emotional states are negative; they are just different forms of the evil: aggression is the evil aimed at others, while depression is the evil aimed at oneself. So, I believe that Plato’s idea of the evil is correct but not exhaustive as he chooses to highlight only one aspect of the evil in the text.

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