Category Archives: Socratic Dialogues

I was once told that I was wisest among men. Surely the Oracle at Delphi was not mistaken. Nevertheless, I feel compelled to test the pronouncement. I have therefore had many dialogues with people who claim to hold wisdom. My students Plato and Xenophon recorded my discussions in ancient Athens. I continue to engage in dialogues with people in this century. My recent dialogues have been transcribed and appear here.

Computers in the Classroom

A Socratic Dialogue
By BRENT SILBY

(It can be a challenge to read long articles online. Here is a link to the PDF version, which is in a page-by-page format)


Background

Socrates is visiting Western Heights School with a view to setting up a philosophy club. Western Heights School incorporates intermediate and secondary level students. Students are aged 11 to 18 years. The school’s Principal, Allison Fells, is open to the idea of a philosophy club and is meeting with Socrates to discuss his proposal.

The school’s receptionist has delivered Socrates to the Principal’s office.
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The Atheist and the Agnostic

A Socratic Dialogue
By BRENT SILBY

Background
Walking through a small green space near the center of Western Heights town, Socrates comes across Paul, who is taking his lunch break in the sun, reading an article by the atheist writer Christopher Hitchens. Hitchens strongly argues that religion is the root cause of many of the world’s problems. In his writings and live debates, Hitchens argues that belief in God is irrational. Paul agrees with Hitchens and tries to convince Socrates that because God doesn’t exist, believing in him is crazy. Through the following dialogue, Paul finds that agnosticism is a more rational position than hard atheism.
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Opinion or Truth

A Socratic Dialogue
By BRENT SILBY

Background
Through this dialogue we see the problem that arises when we take a relativist stance to truth. Many people have taken a liking to relativism; perhaps because it seems so wonderfully democratic. However, the further one goes down the relativist road, the more difficult it becomes to answer fairly straightforward questions. It is almost as if the relativist tries to use logic to argue that logic doesn’t work.
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Moral Relativism

A Socratic Dialogue

By BRENT SILBY

Background

As he walks through the theater district in Western Heights town, Socrates comes across John leaving a movie theater. Through a series of questions, Socrates reveals the problem with moral relativism. This dialogue serves as an introduction to moral relativism.

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Sugar and Hyperactivity in Children

A Modern Socratic Dialogue
By BRENT SILBY
2014

Background
In this hypothetical dialogue, Socrates has targeted a parent’s belief that sugar makes children hyperactive. Through the discussion, the parent comes to understand that correlation does not entail causation.

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