Peter Boghossian | The Socratic Method in the Western Tradition

Mar 8, 2023 | Announcements, News & Media, News....

Best-selling author, Founding Faculty member at the University of Austin, and free speech/open inquiry campaigner to deliver the third Ramsay Lecture for 2023

Sydney, Wednesday 08 March, 2023: How do we have “impossible conversations”? What is the basis of belief? How do we disagree fruitfully across philosophical, ideological, and religious divides?

In an age of mass education, social media, and polarisation, it is more important than ever to cultivate the art of conversation and debate. But where do we begin?

To unravel some of the complexities of modern discourse and suggest a way forward, the Ramsay Centre is excited to announce that Peter Boghossian will deliver our third Ramsay Lecture for 2023, The Socratic Method in the Western Tradition.

The Socratic Method is a form of argumentative dialogue, based on asking and answering questions to draw out ideas and underlying assumptions.

It forms a key element in the teaching style used in the Bachelor of Western Civilisation degrees funded by the Ramsay Centre at our three partner universities in Australia.

Dr Boghossian is a former Professor of Philosophy at Portland State University, and current Founding Faculty member at the University of Austin. He has a teaching pedigree spanning more than 25 years that focuses on the Socratic Method, scientific skepticism, and critical thinking.

He travels globally promoting techniques for civil discourse, with his work centred on bringing the tools of professional philosophers to a wide variety of contexts to help people think through what seem to be intractable problems.

His most recent book is How to Have Impossible Conversations, and his writing can be found in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, Time Magazine, and the National Review. He is director of the National Progress Alliance, a US organisation with the stated aim to “promote free expression and civil discourse through grants, partnerships, and raising public awareness.”

The University of Austin is a new university announced in 2021, with a stated aim of being an institution “dedicated to the fearless pursuit of the truth.” It was soft launched in 2022 with the introduction of a summer program called “Forbidden Courses”.

**This will be a live Ramsay Lecture, held at the Dixson Room at The State Library of NSW on 15 March 2023 from 5:30pm – 7:30pm. To attend register your interest at

Media contact: Sarah Switzer 0407 816 098/