Socrates and the Three Sieves

There is a story that the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates told his students that they should pass any story they were going to tell about another person though three sieves before they told it. The first sieve is “Is it truthful?” The second sieve “Is it good or kind?” The third sieve is “Is it necessary?” If the story doesn’t fit though one of the three sieves then Socrates didn’t want to hear it and therefore the story didn’t need to be told. While there is some doubt Socrates ever said these things, the story would still make a good starting place for a discussion on gossip.

Here is an animated telling of the story.



One thought on “Socrates and the Three Sieves

  1. We have used this story during an imput on Bullying – the girls really responded well to the concepts behind the story and it produced lots of discussion. Thank you for sharing.

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