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Socratic Questioning Success

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thetabularasa Posted: Thu, Nov 22 2012 8:51 AM

This man is exactly like Socrates. He poses questions, and I'm wondering if this is, indeed, the best way to reach people's fundamental contradictions. I propose doing an experiment: the next time a statist begins an argument, bring it to the Euthyphro dilemma: in Plato's dialogue Euthyphro, the son of a man who murdered somebody is torn between turning his father in to the authorities (as he morally should) or regard the religious establishment of honoring his parents, thus not bringing about any action that might cause harm to his father (hence, justice). The question is one of whether a person or a law is good in itself or if it is good only because it is legal. Basically, a distinction between morality and law is made. I believe this is an excellent distinction to make in one's argument.

Much thanks to Wheylous for posting the first of these videos in a different thread.

Has anybody used the Socratic method in their arguing style?

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Conza88 replied on Thu, Nov 22 2012 9:01 AM

A real shame he can't see his own... and as such actually supports a state.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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Conza88:

A real shame he can't see his own... and as such actually supports a state.

Plato was a full-fledged socialist, no doubt. It's interesting that the Socratic method is so useful in argumentation, yet the conclusions Plato drew in his Republic were awful. State-controlled everything, from food to breeding. Disgusting.

Unfortunately, Socrates didn't write anything, but at least we can infer from Plato's account that he was a seeker of truth.

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Man, this guy really uses the Socratic method to it's full extent.

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hashem replied on Thu, Nov 22 2012 11:30 AM

Yes, I support the socratic method. It's power stems from that it flies in under the radar instead of in your face. Why is slavery bad is often better tolerated than Statism is slavery. It's less appropriate when someone's intelligent enough to anticipate the failure of their position should they address the question directly—as in that Chris Mathews interview.

Probably the most prolific and socially talented, fierce supporter of the socratic method is Stefan Molyneux. He also happens to be one of the most articulate speakers I've ever heard. You'd love him, he's always promoting the socratic method and argues strongly for anarchism. Any argument or way of posing a question you can imagine, he's probably done 5 years ago and repeatedly in ever-finer fashion since then.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect. —Mark Twain
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Who do people here believe was the most libertarian of the Ancient Greek philosophers?

 

Some say Aristotle, but I can connect Artistole's thinking to Marxist ideas, particularly the Marxist way of criticism. Aristotle believed in experience as the key to shaping one's self, and Marxist criticism states that one's consiousness is formed by social interactions, i.e. social experience.

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Clayton replied on Thu, Nov 22 2012 12:23 PM

Epicurus, hands-down.

And I don't like the "ambush Socratic method"... I find it annoying.

The Socratic method is to be used on students, those that need guidance in untangling their own thoughts. The questioning process works because simply "giving the answer" leaves out tons of vital information ... why is the answer correct? But the teacher cannot know what pieces of the puzzle are missing in the student's own mind, hence, the teacher follows a series of questions that will hone in on the missing pieces of the puzzle and then challenge the student to fill in those pieces unaided. This makes the problem more tractable for the student by helping him focus on just the portions of the puzzle that are missing.

To apply this method to a random stranger, unannounced, is just condescending and rude.

Clayton -

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com
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The ancient Hedonists all seemed to be "libertarian" in our sense of the word.

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SkepticalMetal:

Who do people here believe was the most libertarian of the Ancient Greek philosophers?

Some say Aristotle, but I can connect Artistole's thinking to Marxist ideas, particularly the Marxist way of criticism. Aristotle believed in experience as the key to shaping one's self, and Marxist criticism states that one's consiousness is formed by social interactions, i.e. social experience.

Hmm.... I would say of the Classical Greeks, maybe Xenophanes of Colophon. From what I've read, he criticized religious and military dogma and preferred intellectual pursuits. As far as the Far East philosophers are concerned, I would say Lao Tzu most certainly could be classified as a libertarian. From reading the Tao Te Ching quite a bit in college, I noticed that he's completely against government intrusion and promotes the natural harmony that nature forms. Granted he didn't exactly believe people should be wealthy (since it lacks equilibrium, where one person might have more than another), I would say he's certainly the ancient philosopher most closely related to modern-day American libertarianism. (I make a distinction with American libertarianism because from what I've read, libertarianism in other parts of the world is more similar to modern-day American liberalism: advocating huge central government, progressive taxation, etc.) 

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Also, while I hold the Socratic method to be a valid resource, I also understand what you are saying. Just like Milton Friedman said, in order to be taken seriously and in well regard, libertarians must have a mannerly demeanor.

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Absolutely. The Tao Te Ching is one of my favorite classical texts.

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Neodoxy replied on Thu, Nov 22 2012 1:08 PM

I really like the Socratic method, it's a great way to expose the contradictions of modern thought. It also tends to lead towards very libertarian conclusions so long as you don't use it in a ridiculous assumption-filled way.

In the future I'm probably going to write a blog post about how ridiculously idiotic I find Plato. I've read about a third of the Republic and so far it's been little more than idiotic conflation and statist reasoning that isn't fit for modern discourse. This is my favorite line of reasoning from the Republic:

The leader of a city must protect the city, he must act as a guardian. A dog is a great guardian, the best and most dedicated that man knows. Therefore the guardian of the city must be like the dog. The dog is a great philosopher, he attacks the unknown and is pleased by the known. This can be seen in the way that he barks and growls at those he does not know, but wags his tail and shows affection towards those it does know. Therefore the guardian of the city must be a philosopher.

That's an actual line of reasoning from which the Republic goes on to explain how to be a philosopher. That's the reason given, not an example given to clarify something Plato already said.

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
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Plato's philosophy is contradictory to everything libertarians stand for.

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Neodoxy:

I really like the Socratic method, it's a great way to expose the contradictions of modern thought. It also tends to lead towards very libertarian conclusions so long as you don't use it in a ridiculous assumption-filled way.

In the future I'm probably going to write a blog post about how ridiculously idiotic I find Plato. I've read about a third of the Republic and so far it's been little more than idiotic conflation and statist reasoning that isn't fit for modern discourse. This is my favorite line of reasoning from the Republic:

The leader of a city must protect the city, he must act as a guardian. A dog is a great guardian, the best and most dedicated that man knows. Therefore the guardian of the city must be like the dog. The dog is a great philosopher, he attacks the unknown and is pleased by the known. This can be seen in the way that he barks and growls at those he does not know, but wags his tail and shows affection towards those it does know. Therefore the guardian of the city must be a philosopher.

That's an actual line of reasoning from which the Republic goes on to explain how to be a philosopher. That's the reason given, not an example given to clarify something Plato already said.

Yeah, so many people hear Plato and they think, "Oh, he was advanced." Granted he was likely incredibly intelligent, his conclusions were horrible. His "utopia" is exactly what I believe socialists have sought to bring about.

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Marx was an intelligent man. Doesn't mean he was right. Same with Einstein, who was a socialist.

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