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Monday, January 25, 2010

The Socratic method

The Socratic method is classical form of philosophical inquiry. It typically involves two speakers at any one time, with one leading the discussion and the other agreeing to certain assumptions put forward for his acceptance or rejection. The method is credited to Socrates. The practice involves asking a series of questions surrounding a central issue, and answering questions of the others involved. Put simply, the Socratic method allows one to learn something by asking questions. Some years ago I worked as a trainer for a large retail outfit and I remember asking my boss one afternoon, "What is the Socratic method?" She gave me a big grin and said, "What do you know about the Socratic method?" We went on to play a game of twenty questions.

I'm trying to think of a way to start this conversation again. I figure I might as well go into this fully prepared with a well laid out plan. I've got nothing but time to put it together and there really are few things more important, so I'm thinking of structuring the conversation around questions. her questions, her excuses and mine. The obvious ones run along the lines of " How much weight is too much?" and "What do you think the fifty or sixty pound you have gained has done to our marriage?" I'm thinking questions that can lead her to the natural and obvious conclusions could be helpful and I've made a list for myself, specific to my own situation. I think a list of questions would make a great article for somebody with a little writing talent. I also think it would be helpful for those of us in this situation. I tell you what I'll start this list and maybe some of you folks could help me finish it. We could call it Twenty questions for the fat spouse or something like that. Leading the witness questions are good, but let's not be too obvious. I'm thinking I'm going to go with ones that are really wide open and hopefully not hurtful when the time comes, but here's my first thoughts.

1. If I was sixty pounds heavier when we met, do you think we would be married now? (This one is reversible)

2. How much weight would I have to gain before I was no longer physically attractive to you?

3. We have so few family photos, are you no longer comfortable having your picture taken?

4. Your closet is full of things you never wear, are you ready to get rid of some of these things?

5. How many hours of television is too many? In a day? In a week?

6. When was the last time you went for a hike in the woods? A bike ride? A swim?

okay, I got more, but I'd really love to get some feed back and hopefully expand the list to twenty questions. change is the only constant...

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