Socratic Method

Topics: Philosophy, Socrates, History of education Pages: 4 (1389 words) Published: April 8, 2011
The Socratic Method of teaching is one that has survived throughout many decades. The Socratic Method was started by Socrates, a Greek Philosopher. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the philosopher Socrates remains, as he was in his lifetime (469–399 B.C.), an enigma, an inscrutable individual who, despite having written nothing, is considered one of the handfuls of philosophers who forever changed how philosophy itself was to be conceived. Socrates wrote nothing about his work, as all the information we now have are reports from some of his students. “Socrates himself never spelled out a "method." However, the Socratic Method is named after him because Socrates, more than any other before or since, models for us philosophy as a way of living, and as something that any of us can do. It is an open system of philosophical inquiry that allows one to interrogate from many vantage points” (Phillips, 2010). “Because he wrote nothing, information about his personality and doctrine is derived chiefly from depictions of his conversations and other information in the dialogues of Plato, in the Memorabilia of Xenophon, and in various writings of Aristotle” (Britannica Concise Encyclopedia,2010). “The Socratic Method of teaching, is popular especially in law schools, it begins with the teacher posing a deceptively simple question such as, what is truth? or, what does it mean to be just? When a student answers, the teacher responds with another question that prompts him or her to think more deeply and offer a new answer” (Noddings, 1998, p.6).Gregory Vlastos, a Socrates scholar and professor of philosophy at the Princeton University, described Socrates’ method of inquiry as "among the greatest achievements of humanity." Vlastos added that, the method makes philosophical inquiry "a common human enterprise, open to every man. Instead of requiring allegiance to a specific philosophical viewpoint or analytic technique or specialized vocabulary, the Socratic...

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