Socrates generally applied his method of examination to concepts that seem to lack any concrete definition; e.g., the key moral concepts at the time, the virtues of piety, wisdom, temperance, courage, and justice. Such an examination challenged the implicit moral beliefs of the interlocutors, bringing out inadequacies and inconsistencies in their beliefs, and usually resulting in aporia.
You can read a lot about Socrates Method
Socrates didn’t sell anything. What we can learn from him. We are going to make his method as simple as possible. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it!
You can’t win an argument.
The secret of Socrates.
Socrates, “the gadfly of Athens”, was one of the greatest philosophers the world has ever known. He did something that only a handful of people in history have been able to do. He sharply changed the whole course of human thought, and now, 2500 years after his death, he is honored as one of the wisest persuaders who ever influenced this wrangling world.
When you are talking with people, don’t begin by discussing your differences. Rather, begin by discussing the things on which you agree. Keep emphasizing, if possible, that you are both striving for the same end and that your only difference is one of method and not of purpose.
Get the other person saying “Yes, yes” at the outset. Keep the other person, if possible, from saying ‘No.’
A ‘No’ response is a most difficult handicap to overcome. When a person has once said ‘No’ all of his or her pride of personality demands the person to be consistent and NOT reverse by saying ‘Yes.’
Did Socrates tell people they were wrong? Definitely not.
He was far too adroit for that. His whole technique, now called the “Socratic method”, was based upon getting a “yes, yes” response. He asked questions with which his opponent would have to agree. He kept on winning one admission after another. He kept on until, almost without realizing it, his opponents found themselves embracing a conclusion they would have bitterly denied a few minutes previously.
Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.
Socrates wasn’t that simple guy. He used very general definitions (concepts) to prove a person that he (or she) doesn’t understand them.
In Plato’s early dialogues, the elenchus is the technique Socrates uses to investigate, for example, the nature or definition of ethical concepts such as justice or virtue. According to Vlastos, it has the following steps:
- Socrates’ interlocutor asserts a thesis, for example “Courage is endurance of the soul”, which Socrates considers false and targets for refutation.
- Socrates secures his interlocutor’s agreement to further premises, for example “Courage is a fine thing” and “Ignorant endurance is not a fine thing”.
- Socrates then argues, and the interlocutor agrees, that these further premises imply the contrary of the original thesis; in this case, it leads to: “courage is not endurance of the soul”.
- Socrates then claims that he has shown that his interlocutor’s thesis is false and that its negation is true.
PS: – Get the other person saying “Yes, yes” at the outset.
- When you are talking with people, don’t begin by discussing your differences.
I wanted to simplify Socrates method.