Share
Explore BrainMass

Socrates as midwife

Why is Socrates referred to as a "midwife"? What philosophic idea is at work here?

Solution Preview

Dear Student

Here is my response to your problem. I hope you find it useful. I encourage you to investigate further, and explore the references listed below. I have attached a word file of the solution.

Wishing you well with your philosophical inquiry

Why is Socrates referred to as a "midwife"? What philosophic idea is at work here?

The "midwife" idea is representative of a theory of education related to the question "what is knowledge?"explored by Plato in his Theaetetus, a text in which Socrates is characterized as a "man-midwife". Education becomes analogous with the art of midwifery, where the idea is that men are delivered of their thoughts.

In a dialogue with Theaetetus Socrates explains the idea:

SOCRATES: Well, my art of midwifery is in most respects like theirs; but differs, in that I attend men and not women; and look ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides a brief analysis of why Socrates was referred to as "midwife" in relation to the theory of knowledge and the role of the educator.

$2.19