American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Of or relating to Socrates or the Socratic method: a Socratic approach to teaching.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Of or pertaining to the methods, style, doctrine, character, person, or followers of the illustrious Athenian philosopher Socrates (about 470–399 b. c). His father, Sophroniscus, was a sculptor, and he was brought up to the same profession. His mother, Phænarete, was a midwife. Socrates was unjustly accused before the council of the prytanes of being a corrupter of youth and of not believing in the gods of the city, was condemned, and died by drinking hemlock. His philosophy is known to us by the account of Xenophon, written to show the practical upshot of his teachings and the injustice of his sentence, and by the Dialogues of Plato, in most of which Socrates is introduced only to give an artistic setting to Plato's own discussions. Some things can also be inferred from fragments of Æsachines, and from the doctrines of other companions of Socrates. He wrote nothing, but went about Athens frequenting some of the best houses, and followed by a train of wealthy young men, frequently cross-questioning those teachers whose influence he distrusted. He himself did not profess to be capable of teaching anything, except consciousness of ignorance; and he bargained for no pay, though he no doubt took moderate presents. He called his method of discussion (the Socratic method) obstetrics (see
maieutic), because it was an art of inducing his interlocutors to develop their own ideas under a catechetical system. He put the pretentious to shame by the practice of Socratic irony, which consisted in sincerely acknowledging his own defective knowledge and professing his earnest desire to learn, while courteously admitting the pretensions of the person interrogated, and in persisting in this attitude until examination made it appear bitter sarcasm. He was opposed to the rhetorical teaching of the sophists, and had neither interest nor confidence in the physical speculations of his time. The center of his philosophy, as of all those which sprang directly or indirectly from his—that is to say, of all European philosophy down to the rise of modern science—was morality. He held that virtue was a species of knowledge; really to know the right and not to do it was impossible, hence wrong-doers ought not to be punished; virtue was knowledge of the truly useful. He was far, however, from regarding pleasure as the ultimate good, declaring that if anything was good in itself, he neither knew it nor wished to know it. The great problems he held to consist in forming general conceptions of the nature of truth, happiness, virtue and the virtues, friendships, the soul, a ruler, a suit of armor—in short, of all objects of interest. These conceptions were embodied in definitions, and these definitions were framed by means of analytic reflection upon special instances concerning which all the world were agreed. He would not allow that anything was known for certain concerning which competent minds opined differently. This process of generalization, the Socratic induction, together with the doctrine of the necessity of definitions, were his two contributions to logic. The disciples of Socrates were Plato, Euclides, Phædo, Antisthenes, Aristippus, Xenophon, Æschines, Simonias, Cebes, and about twenty more. Properly speaking, there was no Socratic school; but the Academy and the Megarian, Elean, Eretrian, Cynic, and Cyrenaic schools are called Socratic. as having been founded by immediate disciples of Socrates.
- n. A disciple of Socrates: as, Æschines the Socratic.
- adj. of or characteristic of the philosopher Socrates or his philosophical methods and/or views.
- n. a follower of Socrates.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Of or pertaining to Socrates, the Grecian sage and teacher. (b. c. 469-399), or to his manner of teaching and philosophizing.
- adj. of or relating to Socrates or to his method of teaching
- From Latin Socraticus, From Ancient Greek Σωκρατικός (Sōkratikos, "of Socrates"), from Σωκράτης (Sōkratēs, "Socrates"). (Wiktionary)
“The future of the American idea — both then and now, here and abroad — depends on the vision, courage, and determination of decent and compassionate people to engage in Socratic questioning of the powers that be, to take the risk of prophetic witness, and to preserve a hope for democratization.”
“= -- Developing, or training, questions, are sometimes referred to as Socratic questions.”
“His method was interrogation, he whetted the curiosity of the audience and practised what had become known as Socratic irony and the maieutic art (maieutikê techne), the art of delivering minds of their conceptions.”
“When I first came to law school, I, along with everyone else, was at least mildly intimidated by this thing called the Socratic method.”
“His own — that is, the Socratic — method of conducting a rational discussion632 was to proceed step by step from one point of general agreement to another: “Herein lay the real security of reasoning,” 633 he would say; and for this reason he was more successful in winning the common assent of his hearers than any one I ever knew.”
“If the love called Socratic and Platonic is only a becoming sentiment, it is to be applauded; if an unnatural license, we must blush for Greece.”
“Without knowing it, I was being exposed to what we sometimes call the Socratic method in which the instructor or facilitator draws not only on his fount of knowledge but on the knowledge of his pupils, on their experiences, on their perspectives.”
“I believe that in teaching touch the teacher should first give his model of the touch required and then proceed from this positive ideal, by means of the so-called Socratic method of inducing the pupil to produce a similar result through repeated questions.”
Great Pianists on Piano Playing Study Talks with Foremost Virtuosos. A Series of Personal Educational Conferences with Renowned Masters of the Keyboard, Presenting the Most Modern Ideas upon the Subjects of Technic, Interpretation, Style and Expression
“His own -- that is, the Socratic -- method of conducting a rational discussion (42) was to proceed step by step from one point of general agreement to another: "Herein lay the real security of reasoning," (43) he would say; and for this reason he was more successful in winning the common assent of his hearers than any one I ever knew.”
“To be sure he used the method afterwards adopted by Socrates, and now known as the Socratic method, of appealing to the unquestioned belief of the Brahmans themselves as the foundation of his argument in support of that fundamental truth of all religions, that the pure in heart alone can see God.”
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