DFNTN

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But the objection is urged, 'that the honourable is the good,' and as every one equally desires the good, the point of the definition is contained in the words, 'the power of getting them.
Some lesser points of the dialogue may be noted, such as (1) the acute observation that Meno prefers the familiar definition, which is embellished with poetical language, to the better and truer one; or (2) the shrewd reflection, which may admit of an application to modern as well as to ancient teachers, that the Sophists having made large fortunes; this must surely be a criterion of their powers of teaching, for that no man could get a living by shoemaking who was not a good shoemaker; or (3) the remark conveyed, almost in a word, that the verbal sceptic is saved the labour of thought and enquiry (ouden dei to toiouto zeteseos).
His definition of virtue as 'the power and desire of attaining things honourable,' like the first definition of justice in the Republic, is taken from a poet.
Do you happen to recall Herbert Spencer's definition of 'Life'?
That," he replied, "is all that any definition can do.
What I want you to observe is that in Herbert Spencer's definition of 'life' the activity of a machine is included--there is nothing in the definition that is not applicable to it.
A piece of matter, according to the definition that I propose, is, as a first approximation,* the collection of all those correlated particulars which would normally be regarded as its appearances or effects in different places.
The exact definition of a piece of matter as a construction will be given later.
I will conclude with an attempt to give a more precise definition of a piece of matter.
Hence it must happen that however accurately objects may be discriminated in themselves, and however accurately the discrimination may be considered, the definition of them may be rendered inaccurate by the inaccuracy of the terms in which it is delivered.
Remember," he warned, "my definition is fatal to metaphysics.
You have not yet picked out the flaw in my definition of philosophy.