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Are we doing them more harm than good by giving them the answers they ask for?

I don't presume to know what is good for people - I've not been trained as a High School teacher :-)
Consequently I usually just (try to) answer the question. I guess a more altruistic person might stop to consider the excellent points raised in apl's post, but I'm not an altruist - nor am I qualified to be one.

Replying to posts is (generally speaking), for me, an act of self-indulgence. It's all about solving a puzzle that *I* find interesting, or showing off something that *I've* picked up somewhere along the way ... or maybe it's something *I'm* doing as a learning exercise or as an exercise in clear thinking. It's all good and fine if the OP derives some benefit from my reply - but that's generally a secondary concern.

I also find it particularly annoying when I get a "teacher reply" to questions that I've asked. In fact, I usually interpret such responses as smug, smartarse "I'm better than you cos I know something you don't" responses. Thankfully, I (usually) manage to conceal my displeasure :-)

By some strange coincidence, I happened to read this article by Maryann Wolf in Saturday's (Melbourne) Herald Sun newspaper. I rarely read that paper - which makes it an even stranger coincidence. (The article is not related specifically to this discussion, but it also refers to Socrates and it's along similar lines to apl's post.)


In reply to Re: Should a Socratic Dialogue be attempted? by syphilis
in thread Should a Socratic Dialogue be attempted? by apl

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