Do-It-Yourself Dialogue

What is virtue? Can it be taught?

Here are the requirements for your partner dialogues. Remember to have someone proofread the final copy, which is due Monday, November 7!

(And remember – Socrates himself argues in favor of both answers in two different dialogues…so anything goes, as along as your reasons are clear.)

Create your own Socratic dialogue – “Virtue”

  • Begin with a hypothesis – For example, choose one person’s definition of virtue & their claim that it can or cannot be taught.
  • Have a conversation – Discuss the differences in your approaches to this issue. If you begin with an informal discussion and make some notes about it for brainstorming, your formal, written dialogue will be easier to compose.
  • Together, write a formal Socratic dialogue in which you debate your two sides.
    • Look back at Euthyphro to remind yourself of the format. (It looks like a play!)
    • Consider that Socrates is always concerned with the exact definitions of words and the assumptions that we make about them. Use your critical thinking skills! Poke holes in your partner’s arguments – even if you’re just playing “devil’s advocate” at times!
    • Conclude your dialogue in a logical place. You can either end with one party persuaded to the other’s side, or you can end in a deadlock – but articulate it clearly in your writing.
    • Have a partner type the final copy! It should be 2+ typed pages, if not more. The final copy should be proofread for spelling, grammar, typos, etc. Make sure both names are on the final, and that it is double spaced.




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