Socrates Critical Thinking Quote

A new idea, once it was delivered through Socrates philosophical midwife practice of limiting himself to asking questions, was then examined to determine if the idea is a "false phantom or an instinct with life and truth" (Theaetetus).This examination involved Socrates asking more questions, which help the respondents think critically about their previous answers.The subjects of Socrates' conversations often revolved around defining ideas such as, justice, virtue, beauty, courage, temperance, and friendship.

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Socrates rejected any attempts to pass off another person's ideas or the beliefs of the majority as truth. He only wanted to focus on the respondents own thinking.

Through the respondent's process of answering Socrates' questions, they experienced their own original thinking in the context of examining their own ideas and themselves.

The first and most obvious benefit is that it teaches students to think quickly.

The questions posed by professors during class are designed to demonstrate an understanding (or lack thereof) of the issues in play in a particular case.

A similar dialogue takes place in an American law school classroom.

But instead of an inquiry into issues of piety or love, the participants investigate a particular case or line of cases.

It is clear, however, that the method is named for Socrates, the classic Athenian philosopher, who lived from 469 B. After the answer is given, Socrates will follow up with another question aimed at revealing a contradiction in the response, an exception to it, or something else that is problematic.

The questioning and answering then continues until one has the impression that there are no clear answers.

Sometimes, the result of the questioning is to demonstrate that a rule cannot be applied in a black-and-white manner to all situations, or to reveal the judicial challenge in crafting appropriate rules and definitions.

Through this process, the student gains a deeper understanding of the material and the nuances involved.


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