socrates book cover“Socrates is in many ways an exemplary figure, a figure which challenges, encourages, and inspires.  Again, virtually everyone whose business is teaching finds some affinity with the Socratic method of challenging the student to examine his or her beliefs, to revise them in the light of argument, and to arrive at answers through critical reflection on the information presented. But the critical method is no mere pedagogical strategy; it is, in real life as much as in the Socratic dialogues, a method of self-criticism.

The slogan ‘The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being’ (Pl. Apology, 38a) expresses a central human value, partly constitutive of integrity: namely, the willingness to rethink one’s own assumptions, and thereby to reject the standing tendency to complacement dogmaticism.  As long as intellectual and moral integrity are human ideals, Socrates will be an appropriate exemplar of them.”

(c) C.C.W. Taylor, Oxford University Press (2000)

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