Socratic Dialectic

1115 WordsAug 29, 20085 Pages
A friend of Socrates, Chaerephon, asked the Oracle of Delphi if there is anyone wiser than Socrates. The goddess answered that there is not. (Plato, p. 50). Aware that he cannot claim wisdom, but intrigued by the Oracle’s answer, Socrates embarks on a journey to find someone who is truly wise. The method he used to establish someone’s wisdom or lack of it has been known as the Socratic dialectic. Socrates’ dialectic technique, its aim and its method will be examined in this paper. The Apology of Socrates’ by Plato, will be used as a case study to illustrate key points. Upon hearing the Oracle’s answer that no one is wiser than him, Socrates found the literal interpretation difficult to comprehend. He decided to seek out people who have a…show more content…
And while his method might appear ruthless and hostile, it was essentially ethical in character. Belief in a purely objective understanding of such concepts as justice, love, and virtue, and the self-knowledge that he encouraged, were the basis of his teachings. He believed that all vice is the result of ignorance, and that no person is willingly bad; correspondingly, virtue is knowledge, and those who know the right will act rightly. Socrates was not a believer in any specific metaphysical point of view, but he believed that he was appointed by God to examine himself and others in order to discover who they really are. Thus, he claimed that the highest goodness consists in the caring of the soul concerned with moral truth and moral understanding. ‘Wealth does not bring goodness, but goodness brings wealth and every other blessing, both to the individual and to the state’. (Plato, p 62). As previously stated, Socrates dialectic aims to determine whether an individual makes justifiable claims to knowledge by using the method of cross-examination in order to draw out a contradiction or inconsistency in their claims. However, this is not the only aim of dialectic. The Socratic method is also a means of conversing, developing a dialogue that aims to bring awareness to person’s ignorance of a subject. It aims to free other from ignorance, encourage them on their path to self-knowledge, assist then in leading good, virtuous life and ultimately
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