Sophistry, Dialectic, and Teacher Education: A Reinterpretation of Plato's Meno

Journal of Philosophy of Education:102-109 (1996)
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Abstract

This essay argues for a rereading of "Meno" and attempts two specific goals: 1) reviving Plato's indictment of sophistry as an important and timely way to investigate what it means to achieve a deeper sensibility of teaching and learning; and 2) demonstrating that the Socrates/slave-boy "dialectic" is actually a display of sophistry, for sophists, to demonstrate the flaws of sophistry. By offering such an interpretation as 2) an argument is made against sophistry and for authentic dialectic (vs. Socratic dialectic) in contemporary schools. To have authentic dialectic in American schools, teacher-education programs should engage teachers and prospective teachers in the kind of dialectic for which this essay argues

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