Socrates' Defensible Devices in Plato's Meno

Theory and Research in Education 17 (2):165-180 (2019)
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Abstract

Despite how revered Socrates is among many educators nowadays, he can seem in the end to be a poor model for them, particularly because of how often he refutes his interlocutors and poses leading questions. As critics have noted, refuting people can turn them away from inquiry instead of drawing them in, and being too directive with them can squelch independent thought. I contend, though, that Socrates' practices are more defensible than they often look: although there are risks in refuting people and posing leading questions, Socrates has sensible ways of minimizing the risks, ways that are feasible even for teachers nowadays, and there are times when the risks are worth taking. I illustrate my point by discussing Plato's _Meno_.

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Mason Marshall
Pepperdine University

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References found in this work

Grundlegung zur metaphysik der sitten.Immanuel Kant - 1785 - Gotha,: L. Klotz. Edited by Rudolf Otto.
Plato: Complete Works.J. M. Cooper (ed.) - 1997 - Hackett.
Self-Deception Unmasked.Alfred R. Mele - 2001 - Princeton University Press.
Democracy and Moral Conflict.Robert B. Talisse - 2009 - Cambridge University Press.

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