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Erick Silva

Mr. Muhammad
Philosophy
April 8 2015
How to lose your driving privileges in 5 minutes
We hear subjects like math, science, writing, or even P.E and immediately think of school
related things. Apparently the reason on why those are our general education subjects is simply
because we are bound to come into contact with these subjects throughout our lives. If you were
to ask a small child or maybe even a young teen what is philosophy? their response would
most likely be dont you mean physics? or just a simple what? Philosophy courses are
usually not taught in grades 1-12, youd be lucky if your school even supported the idea of
having a class involving philosophy but why is that? Well maybe it has to do with the fact that
philosophy plays a big role in deciding for yourself or anyone whether God exists or not. That is
probably the main reason schools and or parents dont want you exposed to philosophy at such a
young age.
In philosophy the first big name you should know is Socrates, if it wasnt for this man
philosophy might not even exist. People say he is the most knowledgeable person ever but if he
were still alive he would probably even question that, just like he questioned everything else.
Socrates gave us what some people call the Socratic Method. The Socratic Method involves a
question being asked and having the person the question is being asked to ultimately contradict
themselves and or just admit they doesnt know the answer to that certain question.

For my first Philosophy assignment I had to use the Socratic Method on someone and the
person the question is being asked to shouldnt know this is for a school assignment. After dinner
I decided to ask my mom a question. And it went something like this.
Mom I have a question, I said with a serious look,
What is it Erick? my mom said interested,
I know this sounds dumb but what is a dog?
Really Erick is this a serious question? she said uninterested,
Yes mom its just a simple question now what is your answer?
I said with a serious tone.
Well a dog is a furry animal with four legs she said confidently,
After she responded my question she looked uninterested as if she thought there wasnt
going to be more to the question. Before she became even more uninterested I stopped her with
another question.
So what youre telling me is that a bear can be considered a dog as well?
No it cant she said
But you told me a dog is an animal with four legs and is furry; bears are animals, have four legs
and are furry as well
Okay smart(pants)a dog is an animal that has four legs, is furry, has a long tail and is usually a
pet for a lot of families she said kind of pissed off

Mom so what youre saying is that we have 3 dogs in the house? I said
What are you talking about? she responded
Well we have two cats and one dog in the house, both of our cats have fur, a long tail, walk on
all four legs and are obviously our pets, and our dog meets all those criterias as well, so do we
have three dogs or two cats and one dog? I asked curiously
At around this point I noticed that my mom was getting pretty annoyed, not only because of the
amount of questions being asked but because I was indirectly questioning her own responses.
My mom being like every other parent hates being proven wrong especially by her own child and
thought she could finally prove to me that she knew exactly what a dog was.
No Erick, we have two cats and one dog, two felines and one canine she responded
By the look she was giving me she thought she had already won the argument at this point. But
what she doesnt know is that there is no such thing as a winner in a Socratic question.
Okay mom how about lets just pretend that you actually know the exact definition of a feline
and what a feline exactly is. But the real question here is what is a canine? I asked
Well a canine is a dog like I said earlier! she said in an angry tone
But mom how are you going to say a canine is a dog if you dont exactly know what a dog is?
Same with a dog, how are you going to say that a dog is a canine if you dont even know what a
canine exactly is? That is like playing the blame game, simply blaming someone else for your
own actions in order to not face any consequences. Here you are relying on another word in
order to solve my question and according to you making you right. I said

Forget about going out with your friends Im taking your car, thats what you get for being a
smart(pants) she said and used my car to go grocery shopping.
As simple as this question was I was able to both make my mom give up and make her
contradict herself. Right when she answered a question and thought she was right I immediately
gave her another question further questioning her previous response. Sure she might have been
correct of the fact that a dog is a canine and that a dog had was an animal with fur etc. But in
order for me to keep the conversation and the questions coming I kept questioning everything
she said. I kept that going on for a couple of more questions until she just gave up and left the
scene.
The Socratic Method can be both beneficial and non-beneficial. It can be beneficial
because it can help you get out of a sticky situation by legitimately questioning everything. You
might be having an argument with someone for example and the person youre having the
argument thinks they have the upper hand. Here you quickly pull out your inner philosopher and
question everything the person states. The key is to remember everything the person states or
answers specially the first answer. By doing so you might be able to catch something the person
said in the beginning of the conversation that would contradict something he says later in that
conversation. Once you catch them contradicting themselves you remind them that in the
beginning they stated otherwise. At this point they will either accept the fact that they are wrong
and confused or they will deny the fact that they stated that. The Socratic Method can also be
unbeneficial because it might get you in trouble with someone, like your mom. Dont get in
trouble with your mom because she might take away your driving privileges for a day.

In conclusion before using the Socratic Method make sure you dont use it on your mother. You
might think its a good idea at the moment but wont when she takes your car away. But if you
think of using it on anyone else then you should be alright.