Arquivo para August 11th, 2021

Maieutics and giving birth to knowledge

11 Aug

The Socratic method was that the philosopher believed that no one had definitive answers to his questions and so walked the streets of Athens asking questions he considered basic about politics, morality and truth, the young democracy was corrupting itself.

In this way, each person could “give birth” answers, and with each answer he asked new questions, thus he defined himself as an “idea midwife”, he sought to instruct the “citizens”.

His opponents were the sophists who relied solely on the art of persuasion, and their aim was to flatter the rulers and give answers that people wanted to hear.

But many people, especially young people, were involved by his wisdom and teachings, among them was the disciple Plato who describes the various Socratic dialogues.

Thus his method was opposed to those of the sophists based on rhetoric and the art of persuasion, their theses were the most diverse, Gorgias for example, defended that “nothing exists”, Protagoras that “man is the measure of all things”, besides of this they charged for the lessons.

Aristotle will define it as “apparent but not real wisdom (sapientia), but it has not disappeared completely, it has changed form and discourse throughout history, but essentially it is rhetoric, today for example, performative thinkers and self-referentials.

Socrates’ great opposition to the sophists was that they, using persuasion and rhetoric, only proclaimed “opinion” called doxa and Plato, disciple and disseminator of Socrates, will organize the “episteme”, knowledge must be organized from the its “currencies, limits, its aspects and its appearance”, described as its “dialectic”.

Also Bachelard in our time criticizes opinion as unscientific: “Science, both in its need for completion and in its principle, is absolutely opposed to opinion” in his work: The Formation of the Scientific Spirit: contribution to a psychoanalysis of knowledge .

Socrates, accused of subverting the young and not worshiping the gods of the state, was sentenced to death, Plato will develop his method and create a school of thought.