The Socratic Method:Socrates' Defense.doc

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Department
Political Science
Course
POL 1201
Professor
Elizabeth Beaumont
Semester
Summer

Description
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 mean. ◦ Socrates' "divine mission" is an ongoing investigation using his Socratic method (ambivalent/paradoxical response -- shows he doesn't completely believe or completely disbelieve): ▪ 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
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