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I have noticed the Socratic method is a term often used in academic circles in a variety of syntactical contexts. I began to wonder how the nature of the Socratic method has changed over time. Would Socrates approve of the various meanings associated with his name today?

I conducted a detailed analysis of the historical text Alcibiades, seeking contemporary relevance. There is evidence that Socrates did not actually have a method, as it may appear. An analysis of the text shows that Socrates’ genius lies in his openness to adapt to the changing landscape of dialogue. In doing so, he and his student, Alcibiades, participate in the process of askesis, or self-cultivation. As Socrates demonstrates, engaging in askesis is equally important for the teacher and students.


School of Education

Academic Department

Doctoral Studies

Publication or Event Title

Reflections on the Socratic Method




This is a pre-peer review preprint © [Rachel Smith Althof, 2015]. The definitive, peer reviewed and edited version of this article is published in [Visual Inquiry, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp. 89-96, 2015, DOI: 10.1386/vi.4.2.89_1].



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