In praise of the Socratic method

An interesting little debate is taking shape over at ‘Adventures in Ethics and Science’, regarding whether one’s occupation is actually worthwhile in ‘real life’, and broadening out to ask whether:

The Socratic method, as a way of approaching questions, is harmful because it occupies people in critical examination of issues and delays (or prevents altogether) action.

Or to put it another way:

Critical thinking has failed as a tool with which to address pressing societal problems, and teaching students critical thinking as if it were the key to making the world a better place is tantamount to corrupting the youth.

Yours truly has put his two pence worth in on the side supporting critical thinking, and hence by implication the many branches of human endeavour that do not produce instantly tangible results or solutions to real problems. I’d be interested to hear any arguments for or against this position from my own readers…come on, I know some of you have opinions on this sort of thing, so let’s hear it. Speak up!

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