Letters From a Young Catholic

My reflections as a Catholic young adult passionate about the Faith, seeking to grow in knowledge and understanding of God and discerning the will of the Lord in my life.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Putting Socratic Logic to Work

Last semester I took a philosophy class on Socratic Logic. It's one of those courses that you take and you think "hmmm. . . this will probably be useful in some way shape or form but I wonder if I'll actually apply it. . ."

Well, this past week when I was doing my lifeguarding courses I was doing some specialized training for lifeguarding waterpark facilities (think water slides, wave pools, etc...). The students in the course were divided into groups and asked to come up with a definition for "waterpark". Members of my group proposed such things as "an Aquatic facility with a wave pool" or "a swimming pool with waterslides".

This is where Socratic Logic kicks in. Wave pools are not essential to all waterparks, neither are waterslides in fact. I told them that we had to find the essential difference between waterparks and other aquatic facilities to come up with an answer. I said this essential difference must be universal to all waterparks if we are going to use it to define "waterpark". They looked at me like I was crazy.

In the end, they realized I wasn't so crazy when the instructor pointed out that not all waterparks have waterslides nor do all waterparks have wave pools.

See. You need philosophy to be a lifeguard.