Socrates' Method of Argument and
The methods of argument used by Socrates in the works of Plato
focused on true knowledge.This method, known as the Socratic method is
unconventional in that it is not a means of argument through persuasion or
opinion, it is, rather, a means of argument through question and challenge.
The method is a consideration of knowledge as being inherent to the human
soul rather than a study of how things are.In this essay I will examine how
this unique method relates and operates with the unique style of text in
Socrates' method of teaching by asking questions, searched for
definitions.In his method of argument, he would challenge anyone with a
pretense to knowledge.Socrates argued his theories of how true knowledge
is attained through joining in a discussion with another person who thought
he knew what virtue or knowledge was.Under this questioning, it became
clear that neither Socrates nor the other person knew the meaning of such
terms.This is shown in Socrates' conversation with Meno in Plato's Meno.
M: I do not [know what virtue is]; but, Socrates, do you
really not know what virtue is?Are we to report this to the folk
S: Not only that, my friend, but also that , as I believe, I
have never yet met anyone else who did know.Meno 4
Socrates then would cooperate with whomever he was talking to on a new
idea where Socrates would make interrogatory suggestions that were either
Then Agathon said, "It turns out, Socrates, I didn't know what I
was talking about in that speech."
"It was a beautiful speech, anyway, Agathon," said
Socrates."Now take it a little further."Symposium 43
The attempts to find a solution always failed, but they could continue to