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“Socrates: If you’re persuaded by me and give little thought to Socrates and much more to the truth, you must agree with me if I seem to you to say what’s true; and if I don’t, you must strain against me with every argument you’ve got, taking care that I don’t, out of eagerness, go off, having deceived both myself and you, like a bee that left its stinger behind.”
—Plato’s Phaedo

Examine the tradition of Socratic conversation to preserve its future!

Socratic Conversation reveals the natural connection between great philosophical dialogues and the art of philosophic conversation that is in pursuit of the truth. In distinct yet complementary ways, the three parts of the book build a bridge between the philosophical dialogues of Plato, and others, and the contemporary practice of Socratic conversation as a pedagogical method.

Part 1: To build this bridge, author Jeffrey Lehman examines some of Plato’s best-known and most-loved dialogues. Each chapter in part 1 focuses on those aspects of the dialogues that help one see the connection between the way Plato has crafted his philosophical dialogues and his hope that reading them will engender in his readers a desire to engage in philosophical conversation themselves.

Part 2: Join the author on a journey from Plato’s time to our own. Along the way, the author examines particularly striking examples of philosophical dialogue and shows how they continue the work Plato had started.

Part 3: The focus in the final section turns to Socratic conversation in our own time! Informed by the investigation of the examples of philosophical dialogues in the second section, the reader is in a better position to understand and appreciate the challenges and delights of Socratic conversation as a pedagogical method. Along the way, the author shows how remarkably fitting Socratic conversation is to classical education and considers some of the basic principles of effective Socratic conversation.