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Maieutic comes from maieutikos, the Greek word for "of midwifery." In one of Plato's Dialogues, Socrates applies maieutikos to his method of bringing forth new ideas by reasoning and dialogue; he thought the technique analogous to those a midwife
uses in delivering a baby (Socrates' mother was a midwife). A teacher
who uses maieutic methods can be thought of as an intellectual midwife
who assists students in bringing forth ideas and conceptions previously latent in their minds.
Examples of MAIEUTIC
"The maieutic art of Socrates consists, essentially, of asking
questions designed to destroy prejudices; false beliefs which are often
traditional or fashionable beliefs; false answers, given in the spirit
of ignorant cocksureness."
— Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations, 1962
"Montaigne wrote as a kind of maieutic exercise, a way of drawing his thoughts into the light of day, of discovering what he wanted to say as he said it."
— James Somers, The Atlantic, 21 Dec. 2010
Test Your Vocabulary
Fill in the blanks to complete an adjective that means "of, relating to, or associated with childbirth": _ _ s _ et _ ic.