Thank you for the links. A long time ago Tom linked to a page which was a dialogue between Socrates and one of his students so I kinda got the drift. It seemed to me that teaching in the "socratic" method would be very difficult and I don't think it is a talent that many possess and like you, I think that every student might not be able to learn in this manner. I think the problem is very complex...as no matter what, personalities/aesthetics get in the way of common sense/learning not to mention the student must have the ability to follow a certain abstract reasoning. It seems to me the conditions would have to be just right in order for the student to be open to the questions the teacher asks of him/her. ...not only pertaining to the development of the student...but also to the student's morality/culture/temperament etc. For lose the student's attention in any one of these areas and the teacher could lose the students trust and could turn the student off to their personality. I think there has to be a certain respect there...for the Socratic method to work...and to me those type 'feelings' = aesthetics.
MB:If 'to entrap' is defined as something other than manipulation of the mind, e.g. to victimize; to deceive; to lead into temptation - or to make an ass of - then can this be said to be part of the Socratic method ?
AS: I agree. But is there any guarantee that even with exercising the 'proper' Socratic method, the student would still be left feeling like an 'ass'? Sometimes, even when you have the gentlest of teachers....the realization that you had been foolish/wrong in your thinking can make you embarrassed by your behavior. Especially, I think...if you really liked the teacher. Plus, there are times when one has an opinion...that may be the corner stone of the individuals existence that is too difficult to examine more closely.
For example...I have a friend...who was very active in the church. This friend is very funny, intelligent, outspoken and confident, plus she has a very good way of explaining her beliefs and I thought this friend would be great to have in the forum. So I invited her. She told me later that she was "too afraid" to join and she didn't know why. She mentioned that she didn't think she was 'strong' enough to have her convictions questioned. I can certainly understand this...as this is how I was in the past...until I realized that the more I had my beliefs questioned...the more it was no big deal and that I could separate myself from my beliefs in order to know a particular 'truth' /fact....and ...even when proven wrong... I can go back to stupidity at any moment if I so choose...lol. So where is the harm, i figure.
MB:I think that the Socratic method can be used in many contexts - e.g. as a teaching tool in arithmetic. In a very pure form, it can lead to an understanding by asking rather than telling. So, only questions are used to arouse curiosity, capture enthusiasm and allows students to figure things out, step-by-step.
Overall, I see the Socratic method as a positive method, with the intention of producing positive results. Whether this is the case is debatable. And I wish more people would chip in with some ideas...
AS: Well, I am not a teacher...I am but a mere student. However, like I said before, I have been very embarrassed when learning by the "Socratic" method. It's when the light bulb goes off (and it might even be years later) and you blush when you finally figure out what the teacher was trying to get at....and then you remembered what you had said and how foolish it was.
Not only that...even if the teacher is a great one...and everyone raves about their talents....if their teaching methods are too advanced for the students intellect, aesthetics rears it's ugly head and resentment can build. I remember hearing that Wittgenstein was a mean teacher. I believe there was a lot of resentment both on his behalf and the students who could not keep up. I wonder if he tried to use the Socratic method? It must be very frustrating to have students who just simply do not get it...no matter what method of teaching you try.
MB:Are you saying that Non Sum used the Socratic method ? Perhaps you could offer up an example ?
AS: Most of his 'good' stuff was in the other forum. But he did post a few times on this one. I will try to see if I can get you an example. However, he was just having conversations...and not necessarily in "teaching" mode. lol
MB:It is not necessarily true that being led anywhere results in a deeper wisdom. Again, a teacher might lead us to a knowledge of maths and some might appreciate this; whereas others can't 'get' it - or see the relevance. Learning might be about changing and growing; the mind might be 'manipulated'. Some will fight this; others accept it, and even grasp it with both hands. Nobody likes to feel coerced or be a victim or being made a wally of...
AS:You are probably correct here....but for me...the aesthetics of a certain person or thing...be it good or bad or neutral....sometimes can lead me on a path of a deeper wisdom. I will try to give you an example...but I am sorry...I don't have a Socratic example at this moment. Let's take a wall. When I am doing a mural, let's suppose I need to find the center of the wall and I will use a tape measure to do so. However, the wall has a certain aesthetic value. aesthetically speaking, let's suppose the entrance to the room is at the other end of room, to the far right. In my mind, if I found the dead center of the wall where the mural is going...and painted it there....visually/aesthetically it would not look like it was centered...even if mathematically it was. This is because aesthetically speaking, the distance between the space between the center of the "mural" wall and where you are standing, is much closer that the (visual) difference of the distance between the center to the wall farthest away from where you are standing.
So in order for the mural to "appear" center from your perspective, it has to be a little off center so that it fools the eye visually.
I believe there is this same aesthetic thing happening having to do with emotions and learning as well as sight. So, I while I agree that it might be better for most people as far as their 'feelings' go...to be gentle lead into an positive aesthetic way of understanding...but I think if they learned not to "feel" so harmed....they could do what "non Sum" did...and peel away the 'aesthetic' white noise...in order to 'hear' more clearly. Like the wall, I have trouble with visually. I am aware that my aesthetics of 'dead center' are not correct. I know that mathematically, dead center is not where it should be...in my visual "judgment.' So I move it...no biggie. But I don't move it thinking I am right and math is wrong. I move it knowing I am wrong and math is right. It is with confidence that I am able to say, "I am wrong." Meaning...when tjh or rick or socrates, for that matter, used the Socratic method or the method of entrapment, (as the case may be), they might be saying the same thing....only we fight against tjh and not rick or socrates. Now I ask you...why should that be...if both are correct? Why should we focus on the superfluous nastiness of tjh? Here is a visual of what I mean...I hope you will understand...and I apologize in advance for my crassness....
TJH: You fucking gay idiot....2+2=4....I think arising and rick sleep together!
Rick: I will not ban you because I believe in free speech for all of my forum members....2+2=4.....But I will protect my forum members from threats...so don't make any, please.
If we take away all of the personality/feelings/judgments/aesthetics....we are left with 2+2=4.
"The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."
MB.I'm not sure as to the relevance of this. Care to explain?[/i][/b]
AS:I was getting at the aesthetics of the Socratic method vs. entrapment. Neither of these methods would "break one's legs nor pick one's pocket"...literally speaking. The only damage that would truly be done would be an aesthetic one....meaning our feelings could be hurt. That is why I say that Rick and TJH could say the same thing in very different ways...and because we don't like tjh we might 'feel' harmed. But ...literally speaking...tjh's words...would not 'break our legs nor pick our pockets."
"Remove the judgment and you have removed the thought, 'I am hurt'. Remove the thought, 'I am hurt" and the hurt itself is removed."
I believe most if not all judgments = aesthetics.
MB:Erm - I think you assume too much. And the original thread was not a sunday sermon...[/i][/b]
AS: I did not see the first thread. I only saw the most recent one. And that one....is much like the example I set above. If we get rid of the superfluous nonsense i.e. the personality of tjh. We are just left with the mere bones of the point he was making...
MB:Again, who is this 'we'.
AS: Oh sorry...the 'we' is me and them (whoever felt harm by tjh's words).
MB:The idea presented I think slightly more complicated than 'humanity is cruel'.
AS:Sorry, I don't know what was presented in the first sermon...only in the second. And it the second I did not think what tjh said was all that complicated. But Perhaps it was and I just did not 'get it.'
MB:The thread, as far as I can remember, was not the simple presentation of an idea; Rick described it as a 'nonsense discussion' - others as trolling; TJH basically instigated a fight.
AS: Yes, that is tjh personality.
MB:However, perhaps we can conclude that the Socratic Method can be defined as entrapment, depending on meaning and context.
AS: I am late for work...what you say in this whole thread I will have to think about. I am one of the types that it takes a long time for the 'light bulb to go off." lol sorry bout that. Perhaps I should read the links you provide again and then read the sunday sermon again. Maybe I will be able to learn more about what you are trying to tell me...as right now...I feel I am in the dark. Too bad I didn't see the first sunday sermon thread. Maybe I would have understood better.