Vitaliy Darensky (Lugansk)


Vitaliy Darensky (Lugansk) - Doctor of Philosophy, Associate Professor, Professor of the Department of Philosophy and Sociology of Lugansk National University.

Actualization of the method of μαιευτική in philosophical practice (lecture) 

Presentation language: Russian

Mαιευτική (Plato's dialogue term "Theaetetus") is a method of philosophical conversation of Socrates in the form of a series of questions, which result in ἐξέτασις. The latter term is often translated as "proving (test)", but literally it means "going beyond" - beyond the limits of habitual stereotypes of thinking. Socrates encouraged others to find a new understanding of what they used to take for granted. Typically, these conversations proceeded in search of an answer to the question: "what is x?", and during the discussion, false answers were rejected one by one by detecting contradictions. Historically, μαιευτική is not "the invention of Socrates," but there is an archaic phenomenon that dates back to the ancient rites of initiation, in which, in addition to physical tests, there were tests with a series of questions and riddles. μαιευτική, like philosophy in general, genetically goes back to the practice of initiation. P. Hadot identified three conceptual models of philosophical knowledge in antiquity: "pyramidal" (Aristotle's model); organic (the unity of the parts of philosophy, the model of the Stoics); and "initiation", according to a method similar to the Eleusinian mysteries - Platonism, the latter being primary. Philosophy was initially understood not as a purely intellectual occupation, but as a "spiritual exercise": "as a strong-willed personal practice designed to implement the transformation of the individual, self-transformation". The philosopher performs the work of the "cultural hero", in his personal world, re-building the semantic foundations of human existence. The actualization of μαιευτική took place in the texts of M.K. Mamardashvili: by means of verbal impressionism, he interpreted a chosen cultural text or a single symbol so that the listener "collapsed" in familiar ideas and a different space of understanding was born - like a transition from cognitive collapse to a cognitive explosion.