The Fundamentals of Education

A Socratic Perspective on
the Cultivation of Humanity

by Max Maxwell and Melete

Page 26

The Teachings of the Anti-Socratic

6.) You ARE your perspective.
In the anti-Socratic style of conversation, people are not treated like full human beings. The anti-Socratic always reduces us to the perspective we currently express. We are reduced to merely being a member of this or that political party, religion, race, gender, ideology, or speech act. This reductive process, to the extent that it ignores the full complexity of a person, is the very soul of all that is bigotry. The anti-Socratic teaches us to reduce the value of a human being to our own interpretation of their speech. A common result of this reduction is that if the idea is not liked, the speaker of the idea is not liked. The ability to ignore the full complexity of another human being and see them merely in terms of our own ideas is part of how we learn to see anyone with a different point of view as an enemy. We use our ability to reduce another human being to ideas and words to justify our rudeness in conversation.

The idea that we are much more than our current speech never occurs to those immersed in the anti-Socratic. It is only the battle of words that matter. People, as full human beings, are never relevant to the anti-Socratic philosophy of winning. This style of talk teaches that we can treat each other as if a battle of different views was all that mattered. It is here, in our reductions of one another to the expectations of our own ideas, that we take in a serious lesson on how to trample upon our own humanity in our quest to win.