Socratic Pedagogy, Race and Power

Peter Boghossian


Rud (1997) wrote in this journal: " Leaving aside the blatant (to my eyes at least) problems of power and dominance of an elderly Greek citizen teaching a slave boy, this example [the Meno] of teaching has always left me cold." Garlikov (1998) addressed Rud's criticism of the Socratic dialogue. The present article addresses and extends Garlikov's response to cover general notions of power, and shows how these may affect Socratic discourse. Socratic pedagogy is not merely an illusory exercise where participants acquiesce to notions of truth because of power differentials. But power relations play a role in all communicative contexts. However, in Socractic pedagogy the adverse effects of power are greatly reduced and the focus is shifted from people to propositions.


Personal Autonomy; Power Structure; Teacher Student Relationship; Teaching Methods; Socratic Method

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Copyright (c) 2019 Peter Boghossian


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