TED TALKI…This tool will help improve your critical thinking

10 min Source: TED TALK

BLUF

Socrates encouraged others to examine their beliefs through a method of verbal questioning, which is now known as the ‘Socratic Method’.

Summary

This Ted Talk (transcript available) examines Socrates as one of the founding fathers of Western philosophical thought. He was eventually tried and sentenced to death by poisoning for corrupting the youth and refusing to recognize the Greek gods. But Socrates didn’t claim to have all the answers; he was instead criticized for questioning societal norms and beliefs. As a result, Socrates avoided formal lectures and instead preferred to engage friends and strangers in lengthy conversations about morality and society. These discussions weren’t debates, and Socrates wouldn’t offer detailed advice. Instead, the philosopher usually responded to answers with further questions. Through this process, Socrates probed people’s logic, helping people to examine their beliefs. Two of his students, Plato and Xenophon, were so inspired that they replicated their mentor’s process in fictional dialogues. This led to what today is known as the Socratic Method and is still widely used.