Such concern for the pacific inbreaking of newness, Robert Gibbs maintains, distinguishes Socratic maieutics from many other forms of education: "maieutics preserves the integrity of the learner from the violence of a force exercised against the learner, [and] teaching .
The exemplary text in the Christian tradition that explores Socratic maieutics is Augustine's De Magistro.
However, once Theaetetus supplies a series of mathematical sciences, along with their productive counterparts, as his first answer, and Socrates later gives an account of maieutics, we cannot help but believe that Socrates has asked Theaetetus to put together the apparently irrational science of soul, of which he is the sole master, with the rational sciences of number and measure.
So whereas it looks as if mathematics is a rival to maieutics, and which indeed it is if one steps back from the Theaetetus and looks at the pieces as they are laid out, still, from the temporal perspective of Theaetetus, who does not learn about maieutics until after mathematics has been set aside, there is only one science on the board that is supposed to be accounted for, and that is Socrates' midwifery.
Thus the Theaetetus has a single theme, Socrates' maieutics and why it cannot be a science.
Since, moreover, maieutics demands that Socrates share with his mother the art of the go-between, which cannot publicly be distinguished from the art of the pimp, it might seem that maieutics becomes fully artful at the expense of the spontaneity of Eros.
This large-scale display of Socrates' maieutics drives home the point that each part can be treated separately and does not necessarily belong to the other.
Since Theaetetus has never seen a sophist and nevertheless believes that the description of soul-cathartics resembles the sophistic art, Theaetetus must take Socrates for a sophist; for not only does Socrates' maieutics
correspond fairly closely to soul-cathartics, but Theaetetus's own experience of his ignorance through Socrates agrees with the Stranger's account, particularly since Theaetetus's attribution of the highest state of moderation [unkeyable] to one so purified echoes Socrates' claim about Theaetetus's moderate condition at the end of the Theaetetus (Sophist 230d5; Theaetetus 210c3).
A further parallel to Wittgenstein's maieutic
method can be found in a metaphor Royal brings from the work of Maori Marsden; the student completes his studies not just by cleansing the lens of their perception, but by removing the lenses to see the world as it actually is (p.