Socratic Seminars

Mannkal’s Socratic Seminars provide an opportunity for a small group of students to spend a session discussing an advanced topic related to liberty. These sessions are led by a professor or experienced practitioner with expertise on the selected topic. The Socratic method is named after the Greek philosopher of the same name who lived between 470-399 BC. This method is based on Socrates’ questioning of his students in an unending search for truth. He sought to get to the foundations of his students’ and colleagues’ views by asking continual questions until a contradiction was exposed, thus proving the fallacy of the initial assumption. Drawing on this time-tested model for learning, Mannkal applies this approach to engage with ideas relating to liberty and freedom.

These seminars allow a group of up to five advanced students to participate in an intensive conversation based on a set of assigned readings. Participants are given required readings to complete prior to the session. The selection of authors ranges from John Locke, Adam Smith and Friedrich Hayek to Bastiat Frédéric, Hernando de Soto and Milton Friedman.

Participation is by invitation only. Socratic seminars are designed for exceptional students as well as returned Mannkal scholars who have spent time in international think tanks and want to further their understanding of freedom. Students are joined by a discussion leader who guides the conversation but allows students to shape the conversation.