Archie, A. (2010), Socratic Questioning and Analagous Relations, Philosophical Frontiers, 5, 1, 3-19.

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Modern Socratic questioning is motivated by two types of problems: well-structured problems and ill-structured problems. Well- structured problems are problems whose structure can be defined; an ill- structured problem is a problem whose structure lacks definition. I argue that the principle question of a Platonic dialogue often has as its subject matter ill-structured problems (ISPs) and the operative questions of a dialogue, small bore questions that contribute to the elaboration of a concept’s extension, have as their subject matter well-structured problems (WSPs). I show that the dialogues often conflate WSPs with ISPs at the level of operative questioning and that conflating the two problems is intentional and justifiable.
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September 27, 2010
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