The Socratic Method/Socrates' Defense
The Socratic Method
• questioning and cross-examination/answering
• hypothesis testing
• analogy and allegory
• quest for general principles or truths
• reverses position of student and teacher
• often reveals confusion, contradictions, etc
His rebuttal of his "old"/former accusers
• The Story/Riddle of the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi (pp. 22-25)
• Contemplating Socrates' mission and method
• his "human wisdom" and "divine mission"
◦ Chaerephon (friend of Socrates and of democracy) asks the Oracle: "Is any man
wiser than socrates", he responds "There is no wiser"
◦ Inspires Socrates' quest to refute this or understand what this "riddle" could
◦ Socrates' "divine mission" is an ongoing investigation using his Socratic method
(ambivalent/paradoxical response -- shows he doesn't completely believe or
▪ to "expose ignorance of those who thought themselves wise"
▪ to question and critique authority (political and cultural)
▪ to convoke fellow citizens to be more concerned with the virtue of their
souls and the state than with materialism or