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The 10 Socratic principles

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The 10 agreements of the Socratic Pact

As a framework for any consultation or philosophical workshop, here are the few principles that provide a framework for Socratic-type dialogue and that allow you to take full advantage of this approach.

1 - Raison is our framework, it must guide our thoughts and our dialogue. Reason is a demanding passion, free and joyful, boundless and provocative, always in search of truth.

2 - You will answer directly the question but only the question, the whole question, accepting it as it is, without trying to modify it, dilute it or deviate from it, insofar as it is a real question to which we can answer. The question is an invitation to dialogue and a challenge offered by your interlocutor: if he asks you it, it is because he is interested in you and your way of thinking. In the same way, you will also question others, even if it is difficult.

3 - You will trust your interlocutor, without fear of any Machiavellian plan, because you have nothing to lose. We are together to practice thinking, to confront perspectives: not to trap you, convince you or dominate you.

4 - Common sense will be our arbiter. You can go against it in conscience and with reason, but you cannot ignore it by imposing the evidence of your own subjectivity.

5 - You will not be afraid of judgments that will be done upon you, or that you will do upon others, because judgment is a crucial tool of reason, which you must assume and practice. Remember that judgments depend on the arguments on which they are based.

6 - "Know thyself". You will accept questions that challenge you, even if the initial subject does not concern you directly and if it is uncomfortable. A speech is embodied in the one who carries it, and you will have to account for yourself as well as for your speech.

7 - You will not deny what you said: what is said is said. You reveal yourself more by what you say than by what you would have liked to say.Our own words show the finitude and the determination of our being.

8 - You will not seek to be in your right, to impose your opinion or to defend yourself: no one is here to attack you. Dialogue is a mutual reflection where everyone reveals themselves and develops, not a competition.

9 - You will not apologize for what you said or regret it. Everything you say has meaning and expresses your being, however tenuous or powerful, however fallible or accomplished your speech may be. It's just about seeing what is, understanding it and being aware of it as much as possible.

10 - You will temporarily put aside your sincerity, in order to distance from yourself and be more authentic. You will not be attached to your opinions. You will not put forward your emotions as an argument. You will submit your being to criticism, seeking its limits and its faults.

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