The ancient Greek philosopher Socrates developed the Socratic dialogue as a method of teaching and learning. This method stimulates critical thinking through a series of questions and encourages individuals to examine their beliefs and assumptions. By questioning and discussing, the goal of the Socratic dialogue is to gain a deeper understanding of a topic or issue.
It is often used in philosophy but can be applied in other fields such as education, counselling, and business. The method is based on the belief that people already have within themselves the knowledge they need to solve problems and that the role of the teacher or facilitator is to guide them in discovering it.
It is also about helping individuals understand what they don’t know, which often they think they do know.
Socrates believed that individuals often hold false beliefs or misconceptions and that it is crucial to identify and challenge these in order to arrive at true understanding. Through the process of questioning and examining one’s beliefs, the individual may come to realize that they don’t know as much as they thought they did, and that there may be alternative perspectives or ways of thinking about a topic. This realization is often referred to as the “Socratic paradox” or “Socratic irony,” as it highlights the idea that the more one learns, the more one realizes how little one knows.
So while your total knowledge grows, you understand that the total potential knowledge space is far bigger. And this understanding of the size of the total potential knowledge space grows far more quickly than your actual total knowledge. I believe that this may be related to the far more recent Dunning-Kruger effect.
The Dunning-Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which individuals with low ability in a certain area overestimate their own ability in that area. This can occur because they lack the knowledge and skills necessary to accurately evaluate their own abilities. As a result, they may hold false beliefs or misconceptions about their own abilities, similar to the false beliefs that Socrates believed individuals hold.
The Dunning-Kruger effect can be related to the Socratic paradox in that both highlight the idea that individuals may not be aware of their own ignorance. The Socratic paradox emphasizes the idea that the more one learns, the more one realizes how little one knows, while the Dunning-Kruger effect emphasizes the idea that individuals with low ability may overestimate their own abilities. Both of these effects can lead to individuals holding false beliefs or misconceptions, and the Socratic method of questioning and examining one’s beliefs can be a useful tool for challenging these false beliefs and helping individuals to arrive at a deeper understanding of a topic.