I think the term "devil's advocate" is used to expressly disclaim such implication. He could play Devil's advocate, hiding his true "feeling" about the subject at hand for the sake of getting his student to think through more thoroughly a proposition that at first blush seems a "no brainer. By "qualify" I mean your use of qualifiers such as "I may," and "not necessarily.
It does have some merit to it, does it not? Have you considered the flip side of the coin? The way you qualify each scenario made me think of Socrates, particularly his way of interacting with someone with whom he was discussing an issue. It does not deny anyone's beliefs, but expressly disclaims any positive or negative implications that might otherwise surround them. Think of the dialectic as the art of discussion, and rhetoric as the art of persuasion. Perhaps a third option exists that no one raised in the discussion thus far, and the best method to arrive at this third option is to vet each of the first two options, first. Let's think this through. I think my main point is that someone who claims to be acting as "devil's advocate" is asking that his arguments not be regarded as an indication of anything that any particular person believes. You could work for a political advocacy group for reasons not related to the underlying advocated issue. By "qualify" I mean your use of qualifiers such as "I may," and "not necessarily. The fact that someone advocates for a position generally implies that the advocate is acting on behalf of someone possibly the advocate himself who wants to be recognized as believing it. I think the term "devil's advocate" is used to expressly disclaim such implication. I'm saying that advocacy carries no implication either way, as to what he or his client believe. I'm not clear whether you're agreeing or disagreeing with that. In conclusion, there may seem to be more than a little disingenuousness I would call it irony to Socrates' approach, but we wouldn't be using the phrase "the Socratic method" some 25 centuries after his brief time on earth if there weren't something to commend the method in the scenario you describe. You may have left a few stones unturned, and your thesis may need a little shoring up in this area or that area. IOW, the lawyerly meaning is actually pretty relevant - many kinds of advocates can be insincere. Good ol' Soc was more interested the abstraction we call truth. By the way, we would do well to divest ourselves of the notion that a pedagogue is necessarily dogmatic and unyielding, that he prefers the hortatory approach to discussion as opposed to the give-and-take of the philosophical approach. His preferred method of arriving at the truth was via dialectic rather than rhetoric. What if I were to introduce the notion of. The two scenarios you describe in your question describe quite well Socrates' modus operandi M. He could play Devil's advocate, hiding his true "feeling" about the subject at hand for the sake of getting his student to think through more thoroughly a proposition that at first blush seems a "no brainer. By the same token, Soc could ably employ the "opposite" tack in the pursuit of truth by stepping back and exploring more fully the pros and cons of any given position, and not necessarily the better of two options, either. If neither of them passes muster, Socrates would probably say that time would be better spent on exploring another option. It does not mean the speaker doesn't believe the advocated position--merely that he does not wish to be recognized as doing so, not as acting on behalf of someone who does.
Video about what does playing devils advocate mean:
Visual Vocabulary - To Play the Devil's Advocate - Speak English Fluently and Naturally
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