Scofield as Socrates
Jonsen, Albert R.
Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. 1993 Fall; 2(4): 434-438.
Well, as Socrates exclaimed, "By the dog, Gorgias, there will be a great deal of discussion before we get to the truth of all this." In the course of that discussion, we will find that Mr. Scofield does ask many very pertinent questions about the nature and teaching of ethics. Each question is worth examining in itself. But somewhere along the line, he has wandered into exaggerations, rhetoricities, and illogicisms that make it difficult to "get to the truth of all this." If we were being truly Socratic, I would test each assertion and allow him to respond in turn, and he could question me. In so doing, we might elucidate the ideas behind ethics consultation and evaluate its worth. We might then learn, as Socrates would have us learn, how much we do not know. We might also learn, as Socrates desired, how to pursue the elusive answers. Unfortunately, in this essay, Scofield fails as Socrates.