What is the Socratic Method Discussion

In a 2-3 page essay, explain the Socratic approach to philosophy and Illustrate your understanding of dialectic with a contemporary example of a belief that might be examined via the Socratic method. Remember to use supporting citations from the textbook and online lectures. (Here is a guide to help you with APA-style citations.)



Socrates is known as the father of Western philosophy, and his approach to philosophy is still relevant today. The Socratic approach to philosophy is primarily concerned with questioning and challenging beliefs, assumptions, and values through dialogue and critical inquiry. This approach is known as the Socratic method or dialectic. This essay will provide an overview of the Socratic approach to philosophy and illustrate the concept of dialectic using a contemporary example.

Socratic Approach to Philosophy

Socrates believed that the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom was the most important task of human life. He believed that the only way to achieve this was through dialogue and critical inquiry. Socrates was known for his ability to ask insightful questions that exposed the flaws and inconsistencies in his interlocutors’ beliefs and arguments.

The Socratic method is based on the idea that knowledge is not a matter of memorizing facts or accepting authority but rather a matter of questioning and critical inquiry. The Socratic method involves a series of questions that are designed to reveal the contradictions and inconsistencies in one’s beliefs and assumptions.


Dialectic is the process of arriving at the truth through a dialogue between two or more people who have different opinions or beliefs. The dialectic method is based on the idea that truth emerges from the clash of opposing views.

In the dialectic process, one person presents an argument, and the other person challenges it. The two people continue to engage in a back-and-forth exchange until they arrive at a conclusion that is based on reason and evidence.

Contemporary Example

A contemporary example of a belief that might be examined via the Socratic method is the belief that social media is a force for good in society. This belief is widely held by many people, especially young people, who use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to connect with friends and family, share information and opinions, and engage in political activism.

To examine this belief using the Socratic method, one might ask a series of questions that challenge the assumption that social media is a force for good. For example:

  • What evidence is there that social media has a positive impact on society?
  • Are there any negative consequences associated with social media use?
  • How do we know if the information we see on social media is reliable or accurate?
  • Do social media platforms promote healthy or unhealthy social relationships?
  • Is social media contributing to the polarization of society?

By asking these and other questions, one can engage in a dialectic process that reveals the complexities and contradictions of the belief that social media is a force for good. Through this process, one can arrive at a more nuanced and evidence-based understanding of the role that social media plays in society.


The Socratic approach to philosophy is still relevant today because it emphasizes the importance of critical inquiry and dialogue in the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom. The Socratic method, in particular, is a powerful tool for examining beliefs and assumptions, challenging them through a process of dialectic, and arriving at a more nuanced and evidence-based understanding of the world. By applying the Socratic method to contemporary issues, we can engage in a more informed and productive debate about the most pressing challenges facing our society today.


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