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Socratic Method

The Socratic method (also known as method of elenchus, elenctic method, Socratic irony, or Socratic debate), named after the classical Greek philosopher Socrates?, is a form of inquiry and debate between individuals with opposing viewpoints based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking? and to illuminate ideas. It is a dialectical method, often involving an oppositional discussion in which the defence of one point of view is pitted against the defence of another; one participant may lead another to contradict himself in some way, thus strengthening the inquirer's own point.

The Socratic method is a negative method of hypothesis? elimination, in that better hypotheses are found by steadily identifying and eliminating those that lead to contradictions. The Socratic method searches for general, commonly held truths that shape opinion, and scrutinizes them to determine their consistency with other beliefs. The basic form is a series of questions formulated as tests of logic and fact intended to help a person or group discover their beliefs about some topic, exploring the definitions or logoi (singular logos), seeking to characterize the general characteristics shared by various particular instances. The extent to which this method is employed to bring out definitions implicit in the interlocutors' beliefs, or to help them further their understanding, is called the method of maieutics. Aristotle? attributed to Socrates? the discovery of the method of definition and induction, which he regarded as the essence of the scientific method. Wikipedia, Socratic Method (external link)


See Also

Asking
Error
Logic
Syllogism
Truth


Page last modified on Wednesday 03 of April, 2013 04:14:53 MDT

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