The method used by Socrates in knowledge acquisition through which one gains knowledge by proposing questions that counter proposals given and making deductions based on the collected information is referred to as the Socratic method (Daniels 25). Through a debate involving questions and answers, the objective is to prove that a proposed theory is wrong by providing alternative viewpoints.
The method operates in that the first proponent puts forward an assertion or theory, which is countered by a second individual who focuses on the weaknesses of the first theory and proposes a modification or change. Through continued debating, it is possible to alter the mind of the first proponent or that of the second person, the same way that Socrates was able to change the mind of Thrasymachus in the argument regarding Justice where it was eventually agreed that justice served the interests of those who call for it.
Apart from the discourse on justice, another subject that has raised a lot of questions is that of human perception. While many scholars agree that experiential knowledge is a key source of knowledge acquisition by man, there are others who claim that man is born having some innate knowledge. Through a discourse based on the Socratic Method, it is possible to come to an agreement concerning these issues.
The innate knowledge suggested by rationalist scholars is said to have the potential of resulting in deductive thinking (Rey 227). Contrary to this argument, empiricist scholars argue that there is nothing like innate knowledge, but children begin to learn at a tender age and thus the first information held by the brain is learnt from the environment. It can hereafter be said that human beings have no innate knowledge.
Daniels, Susan. “Trainer uses Socratic Method.” National Underwriter 101. 34(1997):25. ProQuest Central. Web. 26 Feb 2013.
Rey, Georges. “The Rashness of Traditional rationalism and Empiricism.” Canadian Journal of Philosophy 30, (2004), 227, 258, 429-430. ProQuest Central. Web. 26 Feb 2013.
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