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ERIC Number: EJ783714
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Aug
Pages: 15
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: ISSN-0309-8249
Platonic Dialogue, Maieutic Method and Critical Thinking
Leigh, Fiona
Journal of Philosophy of Education, v41 n3 p309-323 Aug 2007
In this paper I offer a reading of one of Plato's later works, the "Sophist", that reveals it to be informed by principles comparable on the face of it with those that have emerged recently in the field of critical thinking. As a development of the famous Socratic method of his teacher, I argue, Plato deployed his own pedagogical method, a "mid-wifely" or "maieutic" method, in the "Sophist". In contrast to the Socratic method, the sole aim of this method is not to disabuse the reader or learner of her false opinions. Rather, its purpose is to supply her with the skills and dispositions as well as the claims and counter-claims she needs to critically evaluate a view, and so facilitate knowledge acquisition, for herself. But the text does not merely teach critical thinking in this indirect manner. One of the strategies its author employed was to encourage the reader/learner to consider under what conditions a claim or idea would be false. To the extent that it achieves this, the "Sophist" provides both a model and an application of that particular kind of critical thinking in the learning environment that Jonathan Baron has described as "active open-mindedness".
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A