This paper begins by analysing Plato’s treatment of the problem of discovery in the Meno. The discussion is then related to some 20th century discoveries in science and mathematics. This leads to characterising a particular type of discovery as a Meno-like discovery. However it is argued that Pasteur’s principle that «fortune favours the prepared mind» gives a better explanation of such discoveries than Plato’s original theory.
Keywords: Discovery, Fleming, Meno, Pasteur, Plato, Poincaré