"Socrates (b)" (details from "Socrates (a)") (see related A | B | C), 350 Roman unknown artisan copy of a Greek original Capitoline Museums, Rome, Italy
A profile of Socrates (469-399 BC) as a man and philosopher is given in a companion image and aphorisms. Regarding the "Socratic method or questioning" of alternative propositions, it is a precursor of "dialectics" consisting of "an oppositional discussion" of hypotheses. Some assert that Protagoras is the real pioneer of this method of learning. The Vatican established the "Advocatus Diaboli" in 1587 and abolished the system in 1983. The "Devil's advocate" took contrarian positions even if personally disagreeable, against the canonization of candidates. In contemporary terms, "dialectics" remains a popular teaching method in schools of law.