Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Implementing Socratic Irony, The Art of Discourse
I recently learned a new phrase, Socratic Irony and its meaning. It was named after the Greek philosopher, Socrates who was the master of this method to teach his students.
The essential nature of Socrates’ art lay in the fact that he did not appear to want to instruct people. On the contrary he gave the impression of one desiring to learn from those he spoke with. So instead of lecturing like a traditional schoolmaster, he taught through discussions. Socrates became a famous philosopher because he confined himself purely to listening to others. Socrates just asked questions to begin a conversation as if he did not know anything so within the course of the discussion he would generally get his opponents to recognize the weakness of their arguments and force them into a corner. By the time Socrates had maneuvered his opponents like the puppet master he was, they would finally be obliged to realize what was right and what was wrong.
To state Socratic Irony in another way, everybody can grasp philosophical truths if they just use their innate reasoning by reaching down inside themselves using what is there.
By playing ignorant, Socrates forced people to use their common sense. Socrates would feign ignorance and pretend to be dumber than he was. This enabled him to continually expose the weakness in people’s thinking.
I decided to apply this new knowledge on one of my religious conservative Republican acquaintances.
I asked him what he thought about Sarah Palin resigning the Governorship even before finishing her third year. Of course he went into the conservative talk radio script of how the liberal media who just kept bring up up false ethical accusations without mercy and the constant hounding investigating into her political and personal life. Then in closing he said, “In the end they won’t find any wrong doing and Sarah is innocent. I then followed up with the question, “Then you must feel the same empathy for Hilary Clinton when Ken Star spent $20 to $30 million in tax payer's dollars investigating her on the same kind of false ethical accusations and trumped up charges on White Water, her law firm; investigating her political and personal life only to come up with nothing?
His face then went blank as I could see him putting together the exact same comparisons between the two women.
But of course he snapped out of his own personal thoughts with free thinking and went right back into the neo-con programmed rant of, “No because Hilary is the devil!”
What I derived from this exercise was that some people are just too dumb or programmed to admit the shame of their statements of stupidity when they have been exposed as the dullard they really are…..and they make up too much of MY REPUBLICAN PARTY.