Thursday, February 22, 2007

Socrates on not assuming you know what the other means out of love for the truth

"I won't say that I haven't a suspiscion of your meaning on both points, but that suspiscion won't prevent me from asking you what you believe to be the nature of the conviction produced by oratory and the subject of that conviction. You may wonder why, if I have this suspiscion, I ask you instead of answering the question myself. I am moved to do so not by any consideration personal to you but by consideration of the argument, which I wish to proceed in such a way as to place before us in the clearest possible light what we are talking about. I think that you will agree that my questions are fair if you look at the matter like this..." -Gorgias, 453

"...This is what I suspected you meant, Gorgias, but don't be surprised if later on I repeat this procedure and ask additional questions when the answer seems to be already clear. My motive, as I say, is not in the least personal; it is simply to help the discussion to progress towards its end in a logical sequence and to prevent us from getting into the habit of anticipating one another's statements because we have a vague suspiscion of what they are likely to be, instead of allowing you to develop your argument in your own way from the agreed premises."- Gorgias, 454.

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