Have you ever sat through a personal or professional conversation that led nowhere? That you were turning around in circles? The ancient Greeks can help: The Socratic method is a great way to structure dialogues. It breaks open a conversation and lets you see things in a new light, which is an essential skill in our fast-paced world. You can think of such a dialogue as fitness for your ideas. A Socratic dialogue helps you
- To think “outside of the box”, to ironically use a worn phrase;
- To question the presuppositions of your ideas. This often leads to a more thorough understanding of your position;
- To find and eliminate logical* errors in your ideas;
- To become aware of previously unknown connections.
These are all extremely valuable outcomes, both for your private and professional development.
* If you want, I could also teach formal philosophy during our conversation.
We are a philosophical thinker and …
- A human being who has experienced depression or burn-out and is keen on trying an entirely new approach
- A professional who is looking for a fresh and independent sparring partner to help develop their ideas
- A citizen who could use a little help formulating their political point of view
Preparation: Everything is text
Or at least, we are surrounded by text. What do a manager, a politician, a journalist and a programmer have in common? They all sell text. We could even stretch the metaphor to include the realm of 3D-printing. The point is that text, or replicable language, determines everything in our society. From commanding your dog to petitioning a politician, texts are everywhere. It is no wonder that traditional philosophy studies texts (although it also should question precisely this state of affairs).
This idea inspired my procedure. I prepare the Socratic conversation by reading the text you provide. You give me all the text you are comfortable to share and I will peruse it, o yes. I will study it as if it were Aristotle’s Logic, Descartes’ Discourse on Method of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. Think of a business plan, a website, a brochure, a love letter, a poem, or a secret notebook.
Conversation: Your ideas are everything
We make an online appointment and actually have a Socratic conversation. Depending on the text and the circumstances, I will ask you the (in)famous Socratic questions or you will ask me to expound my theories. The historical Socrates also did both. The dialogue revolves around your ideas. The purpose of our conversation is to help you make your ideas better.
The conversation can be conducted in English, German or Dutch. In German, I wrote a Ph.D. Thesis on Ethics (more precisely, whether we are under a moral obligation to continue the existence of a human race). Dutch is my native language.
Conservation: A text for you
After our dialogue, I write a short text outlining the result. This may even include text fragments that you can use because aside from my philosophical praxis, I have extensive experience as a creative copywriter and even as a poet.