How does the process of Socratic dialogue relate to our perception of history?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The process of Socratic dialogue is something that we can use in our own heads as a way of thinking critically about history and historical sources.  In Socratic dialogues, Socrates questions his interlocutors, trying to get them to examine their assumptions and the logical conclusions that can be drawn from their arguments.  By doing this, he encourages them to find the truth.

When we study history, we should do the same thing with ourselves and with the sources we are looking at.  We should ask what sorts of assumptions are being made.  We should look at our arguments and ask what implications they have if they are in fact true.  When we do this, we can have a better understanding of the historical sources we are examining and we can be more certain of the validity of our own thinking about history.

In this way, the process of Socratic dialogue can increase the clarity of our perceptions of history.  It can allow us to see through assumptions and biases and uncover more of the truth about history.


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