Extraordinary Thinker

Asking Effective Questions

Socratic Questions

Enhance Your Critical Thinking Skills

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The taxonomy of Socratic questions was created by Richard Paul, author of

Critical Thinking: How to Prepare Students for a Rapidly Changing World


Socrates (469 399 B.C.) was one of the greatest educators who taught by asking questions and thus drawing out answers from his pupils. His pupils include Plato and Aristotle.


Socratic Method is a dialectic method of inquiry, that uses cross-examination of someone's claims and premises in order to reveal out a contradiction or internal inconsistency among them.


Socratic questioning is at the heart of critical thinking they enhance your critical thinking skills. Socratic questions challenge accuracy and completeness of thinking in a way that acts to move people towards their ultimate goal.


The primary learning goal of Socratic method is to explore the contours of often difficult issues and to learn critical thinking skills.

Critical thinking is the process we use to reflect on, access and judge the assumptions underlying our own and others ideas and actions.


In the new era of rapid change, you must constantly expand your horizons beyond simple gathering information and relying on the basic principles.


In business, Socratic method and Socratic questions are often used by lawyers, engineers, innovators, etc.



For instance, when used by lawyers, the Socratic questioning involves asking a series of questions surrounding a central issue, and answering questions of the others involved. The idea is to expose the opponents contradictions in such a way that proves the inquirer's own point.


Socratic Thinking will also help you think critically about everyday issues. >>>


Six Types of Socratic Questions


Types of Questions

Sample Questions



What do you mean by ____?

Could you put that another way?

Can you give me an example?


Probing Assumptions

What are you assuming?

How did you choose those assumptions?

What could we assume instead?


Probing Reasons and Evidence

How do you know?

Why do you think that is true?

What would change your mind?


Viewpoint and Perspectives

What are you implying by that?

What effect would that have?

What is an alternative?


Probing Implications and Consequences

How can we find out?

Why is this issue important?

What generalizations can you make?


Questions about Questions

What does that mean?

What was the point of this question?

Why do you think I asked this question?



People Skills

Effective Communication

10 Communication Essentials

Understand EGA of Your Audience

Effective Listening

Active Listening

Persuading People

Become a Master of Persuasion


  1. Critical Thinking: How to Prepare Students for a Rapidly Changing World, Richard Paul

  2. Thinking Socratically: Critical Thinking About Everyday Issues, Sharon Schwarze and Harvey Lape

  3. Aristotle's Dialogue with Socrates, Ronna Burger

  4. Philosophy 101 by Socrates: An Introduction to Philosophy Via Plato's Apology, Peter Kreeft

  5. Socratic Logic, Peter Kreeft and Trent Dougherty

  6. The Journey of Socrates: An Adventure, Dan Millman