Meno was absolutely correct in saying that you cannot investigate what you do not know. He was wrong that in saying when you already know something that there is know need to investigate because you already know it.
Sometimes when we know something, we need to put things we know together to get to the answer we are looking for, and experiment with things that we already know in a variety of ways. We can find out more about what we already know and find out new things, but we find them with things that we already know.
For something so foreign that we know nothing about, and know nothing similar to it, then we cannot investigate it, the most we can do is make theories we will never be able to test or prove. For example, try thinking of a new color. One that has never been seen before, and not a combination of colors that we already know. There are things that we cannot look into. What we can look into is what we can see and experiment with. We were able to produce some colors that we had never seen before when we mixed them with other colors, or they were mixed in nature. This is because we cannot pull something from nothing.
Leonardo da Vinci, the famous inventor is a good example for this subject; he would think up things that would baffle most others in his time. Where did he get those ideas? He would look at the world around him. He was likely inspired by seeing birds in nature flying when he drew up some of his inventions for flight. Would we (not just Leonardo) have been able to come up with the idea of flight otherwise, if we had not seen birds?
There are some things which man has never seen, or come close to, and have somehow managed to come up with. One such thing is the concept of eternity. We have never seen it, but yet, the idea is well known, and it is a concept that we could not of known before it was made up in peoples imagination (instead of us seeing it in the world around us). The idea was most likely arrived by looking at something that we could see around us, even though it seems such a huge thing that is beyond men. First we noticed time, and then we wondered, perhaps, what would happen if time were to continue. Or we could of come up with the idea when we saw people die, and realized that we would die when our time ran out, and our fear pointed us in the direction where we hoped that we would not die, and we were able to arrive at the concept of forever, and eternity.
We can arrive at ideas in a number of ways. We can look at a known thing, experiment with it with other known things and arrive at a new thing. We can twist a known thing to arrive at a new thing. We can look at the things opposite, and so on. But in the end, Meno was correct, we cannot look at things which have know relation to anything that we know. To answer the question above, would we have been able to come up with the idea of flight without seeing a creature in flight? Yes, we might of imagined walking on the air, or floating through the air like we float in water. Still, when we look at an idea, we need something to lead us there. We can arrive at complex ideas from simple things, complex things that we may not of imagined possible, even. Look at what can be done with coding today, it started from simple true and false statements represented by 0’s and 1’s.
To make it all simple, all ideas have been inspired from the world around us, which is what we know, we can manipulate the world for something new, but some things are beyond the world around us, which we cannot inquire. So, in saying that we cannot look at what we do not know, as Meno did, than it is true so long as this thing which we do not know has no relation to the things we do, as these things are beyond our realm of inquiry.