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Socrates

Questions Are Neutral. Answers, Not So Much

COLUMN

Questions Are Neutral.

Answers, Not So Much

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Socrates with his mouth open: Asking a question, no doubt.

Asking questions: It’s a method of teaching that goes back to earlier than 399 B.C. and Socrates, the seminal thinker who laid the foundation for much subsequent Western thought.

Hence, the Socratic Method.

The idea is that a question, in itself, is neutral; at worst – or best? – a provocation to think. It’s the resulting answers to the question that aren’t neutral. The hope is that, tested by argumentation, open debate will lead to the best consensus.

So it’s with some surprise that the www.AllOTSEGO.com Poll, begun in February with the question, “Do you want marijuana stores operating in Otsego County?” has become controversial. There’s a Facebook component for further debate.

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