Socrates Archives



More Generally: Historical Thinkers (251)

September 29, 2016

Teaching Like Socrates?

The Daily Nous heap of links today contained the image to the right (click for a larger view) which appears to be a letter to the editor of some newspaper by Simon Blackburn. I found the letter interesting and amusing, and it has something of a point, but it would be a big mistake to use this point to exempt philosophy departments from broader university conversations about pedagogy. The fact is, first, although the central pedagogical idea most associated with Socrates—that we teach by raising questions that cause students to re-examine their views—is certainly sound, this is really only the...
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December 24, 2008

Valicella on Private and Public Morality

Bill Valicella of The Maverick Philosopher has an interesting discussion on the distinction between private and public morality. Valicella supposes that there is an inherent tension between any Socratic, Platonic, or Christian ethics and the requirements of a stable state. A couple years ago, in my post on rights, obligations, and abortion (which continues to be one of the most popular posts on this blog) I argued that there was no inherent contradiction, or even tension, between the idea that I have a libertarian right to retaliate for an offense against me, but an obligation of private morality not to exercise that right...
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