I asked a question and got a maieutic question in response. After figuring out the answer myself I awarded answer credit to the person who put forth the effort to write the answer. While this worked out well, it seems an interesting feature would be to allow the person asking the question to tag a comment as maieutic. A maieutic tag would be a compliment as asking this type of question can sometimes be a greater feat than providing a good answer.

This type of question may also be a good response to newbies who are accustomed to the format of stack exchange, but are seeking to cross into a different field.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This presumably alludes to stats.stackexchange.com/questions/221484/… I have two quite different comments.I can't see that the answer credited was itself in question form. The word maieutic strikes me as so unusual that making it a tag would have zero effect. Who would remember to use it? Who would recognise what it means? On the broad issue, people asking questions should feel free to accept whatever answer is most helpful! It will often be in straight answer form, but it may be more indirect. $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 19:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @NickCox Check the comments for the question. - The criticism of maieutic being unusual is valid - On the broad issue - A maieutic question indicates higher level of mastery than direct criticism. Direct criticism from an expert is valuable, but it can frustrate those struggling to formulate a question who are new to a field. For people new to a field a question leading to the right answer may be more valuable than the actual answer because it encourages a person to think for themselves. Maybe a way to recognize such questions may encourage this type of response over direct criticism. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 19:41
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Tagging comments seems too subtle ever to get off the ground. The SE philosophy is that comments are transient and trivial, although my personal view is that comments on CV can be very interesting and useful as partial answers and as expressing all sorts of ideas, encouraging, blunt, expository, serious, frivolous and even wacky. But SE-wide we aren't even allowed downvoting for comments, which is immensely more tempting. $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 20:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Such tag would be also example of meta-tag and such tags are inconsistent with general SE policy: blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/08/the-death-of-meta-tags $\endgroup$
    – Tim
    Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 8:07


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .