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Ancient Greeks: Socrates on the Transmission of Knowledge

Ancient Greeks: Socrates on the Transmission of Knowledge

No one can teach,
if by teaching we mean the transmission of knowledge,
in any mechanical fashion, from one person to another.
The most that can be done is that one person
who is more knowledgeable than another can,
by asking a series of questions,
stimulate the other to think,
and so cause him to learn for himself.

~ Socrates

Socrates, (born c. 470 bce—died c. 399 bce), Greek philosopher whose way of life, character, and thought exerted a profound influence on ancient and modern philosophy… The impact of his life was all the greater because of the way in which it ended: at age 70, he was brought to trial on a charge of impiety and sentenced to death by poisoning (the poison probably being hemlock) by a jury of his fellow citizens. Plato’s Apology of Socrates purports to be the speech Socrates gave at his trial in response to the accusations made against him (Greek apologia means “defense”). Its powerful advocacy of the examined life and its condemnation of Athenian democracy have made it one of the central documents of Western thought and culture.” ~ Encyclopaedia Britannica

READ MORE: Socrates; Greek Philosopher | Encyclopaedia Britannica

Human nature has not changed over the millennia. The question is, do we learn from history?

Rather than trying to convince, it is better to ask questions. And a whole lot easier, really. The only prerequisite is to listen. (I preach to myself.)

That’s one of my thoughts. Care to share what you are thinking?

Ancient Greek Wisdom  


About The Author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She writes fiction about an alpha Bichon named Chester, and his friends–with a dash of humor and a dab of poli-sci. JoAnn worked professionally in the Psychology and Information Science fields. Retired now, she enjoys the creative life.


  1. John Fioravanti

    Socrates was a great man and a great thinker. The Socratic method is not easy to master and is effective when executed well.

    • Robert A. Vella

      I agree. When inquiring minds are not so inquisitive, formal structured education is necessary.

    • JoAnn Chateau

      I need to learn more about it, and practice. Do good questions to pose come in the shower?

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