SOCRATIC DIALOGUE ASSIGNMENT
Write a 2-3 page, single-spaced Socratic dialogue focusing on ONE important question. (You may skip lines between each speaker’s statements.)
(1) Choose a topic to write about which has real value or importance to you. Think about what the essence of that topic or question is. What is most important about that topic? Formulate a related â€œwhat isâ€ question to write about in your dialogue. For example: â€œWhat is pleasure?â€ â€œWhat is efficiency?â€ â€œWhat is…?â€ The goal of the dialogue should be to inquire into this question through a question-answer, dialogue format.
(2) One character should be a â€œquestioner,â€ like Socrates â€œimaginary friendâ€ in the Greater Hippias. The other could be a naÃ¯ve inquirer, a friendly person, a mean-spirited person, a Sophist, a Presocratic, or a family member, etc.
(3) Incorporate at least one â€œSocratic Refutationâ€ into the discussion. This is a refutation of a characterâ€™s beliefs/definitions which occurs because the character him- or herself AGREES TO and BELIEVES IN THE TRUTH OF a set of INCONSISTENT (i.e. contradictory) statements. (NOTE:Â I highly recommend that you MARK the place in your dialogue where you implement a Socratic refutation so that you do not forget to employ it.)
(4) Incorporate at least 1 additional element of a Socratic dialogue, e.g.:
– themes pertaining to the difference between â€œwhat X isâ€ and â€œwhat X appears to beâ€
– themes pertaining to the difference between â€œexamplesâ€ and â€œformsâ€
– one vs. many problems
– arrogant sophist vs. character willing to learn
– appetites/pleasures vs. reason
– the principle of non-contradiction
– use of mathematics, etc.
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