Workshop Socratic Questioning

As a researcher you are curious about the boundaries of knowledge. Constant pushing against these boundaries can be a frustrating exercise.
Socrates is your partner in distress. In ancient Greece he questioned his fellow Athenians about their hidden assumptions and the implications of their convictions. Disappointed when he found their knowledge shallow or faulty. A bit like you. But you differ because you do not only ask questions and never provide an answer. You attempt to not leave your audience conscious of their ignorance and in confusion, without a solution to the original problem.

Socrates’ way of questioning convictions, hypotheses, and situations is thorough and opens new perspectives. Today Socratic questioning is a useful technique to step out of the box and think deeper. You can apply Socratic Questioning to theoretical issues from your research as well as to more personal questions concerning your career and life.

Socratic questioning helps you

  • get a better understanding of the perspective and assumptions of people you collaborate with (students you supervise, research partners, third party research funders, administrators, editors, etc…)
  • provide new insight in personal struggles such as motivational drain, moral dilemmas, conflicts of interest, or career stress

The workshop was very interesting, stimulating and provocative. It provided food for thought!

How it works

The workshop Socratic Questioning offers a basic training in the Socratic way of asking questions. It is a stand-alone, in company workshop that can also serve as an introduction to the complete training Socratic Intervision Dialogue (SID).

The workshop is either structured around a previously determined question or theme; or each participant prepares a philosophical question from his or her personal, practical experience, one of which is collectively selected for the workshop. All participants contribute in the attempt to answer this question in a specifically structured dialogue according to conversation rules that are explained during the workshop. Once the case that brought up the question is sufficiently deepened and clarified, participants relate it to their own experience, thought, and feeling. Everyone then answers the question as if the case were theirs. To conclude the dialogue, we reflect on the essence, or central principles and values of the case in question and what is needed to do them justice.

Claartje is just the right person for this kind of conversation: friendly, smart, thought provoking.

Practical information

Hours1,5 – 3,5 hours
Participants5 – 15 PhDs, Postdocs, UDs, UHDs (all participants must be on the same function level)
LanguagesDutch or English


Do you want to apply for this service or ask a question? You can use the form below.