Pam Konkol, Concordia University, Chicago
Isabel Nuñez, Indiana University, Fort Wayne
The Sophist’s Bane is one of the two refereed scholarly journals of The Society of Professors of Education. The Society was founded in 1902 when the National Society of College Teachers of Education was first formed in cooperation with the National Education Association. Among its early presidents were Charles DeGarmo and John Dewey. The Society is an interdisciplinary, professional and academic association open to all persons, both theoreticians and practitioners, engaged in teacher preparation or related activities. Its purpose is to serve the diverse needs and interests of the education professoriate. The Society’s primary goal is to provide a forum for consideration of major issues, tasks, problems, and challenges confronting professional educators. The Sophist’s Bane is published twice yearly – fall and spring – and welcomes submissions on an on-going basis. The journal will consider manuscripts in the form of research, reflections, essays, reviews, or philosophic inquiry. We especially encourage new authors and creative forms of representation.
“Can you tell me, Socrates, is virtue teachable?”
Meno asks this question to Socrates in Plato’s dialogue, Meno, and begins a conversation about universals, teaching, knowledge, and more. Central to understanding Meno’s role in the dialogue is his motivation for asking the question in the first place. Simply put, Meno wanted an answer to his question. Further, he wanted Socrates to give him the answer. Quickly. As a sophist, Meno demonstrates a posture and a way of being that are antithetical to searches for wisdom. Sophists reach only for simple answers and how-to applications with the least mount of thinking, arguing, or searching possible. A sophist’s bane is to be faced with questions that may not be easily answered. A sophist’s bane is to have to think deeply and critically and take the meandering paths associated with complex problems – ones that often are inefficient and unplanned. A sophist’s bane is to read articles and essays that discard oversimplifications and champion inquiry simply because it is worth doing.
The Sophist’s Bane. The editors have created a forum for a broad array of professors of education that serves as a means through which thinkers can challenge assumptions, delve deeply into complex topics, and not be worried about neatly packaged“answers.”While attempting to counteract superficiality and formulaic approaches to inquiry and research, this journal nonetheless intends to be accessible to those who may be outside formal academic settings.
In keeping with the unique title of this journal, articles within it will raise a wide variety of questions that are linked to an even wider variety of topics. What distinguishes this journal from others, however, is that it is not intending easy answers or efficient maps for solving problems. Identifying and exploring questions, reaching beyond the perfunctory narratives, and making arguments that challenge rather than assuage the Meno’s of the modern world – these are the foci for The Sophist’s Bane. A more worthy initiative is beyond imagination.
Deron R. Boyles Georgia State University
The Sophist's Bane: A Journal of the Society of Professors of Education