read [ Gorgias by Plato Ebook ] BY Plato


characters Gorgias by Plato

Gorgias by Plato

Taking the form of a dialogue between Socrates Gorgias Polus and Callicles GORGIAS debates perennial uestions about the nature of government and those who aspire to public office Are high m. A Starker DialogueGorgias is very similar in structure content focus and argument with the Republic In fact it comes across almost a half formed version of it and scholars argue that it is in many ways like an early sketch for Republic But unlike the Republic which forays into metaphysics and utopias the argument in Gorgias is anchored very much in this world and again in contrast to Republic where everyone seems persuaded in the end Gorgias leaves us in the dark as to whether Socrates has really persuaded his audience of what he values mostAnother significant difference with Republic is the absence of a narrator Commentators argue that that the stark uncompromising frame this forces on the dialogue suggests that this absence of narrator may be an important factor in Plato s design he may wish to avoid the softening effect of narrative mediation in dramatizing Socrates lack of success in creating empathy with his interlocutors his inability to teach them about goodness and justice which ironically enough seems in danger of putting him in the same camp as all the failed statesmen he criticizesGorgias concludes awkwardly and abruptly almost painfully aware of the deficiencies in the method employed and we just have Socrates last words 527e let us follow that way practicing righteousness and virtue and urge others to follow it instead of the way which you in mistaken confidence are urging upon me for that way is worthless Callicles What has Callicles or the others for that matter to say in reply to the myth and the long argument that conclude the dialogue We are not informed The dialogue trails off inconclusively like one of the aporetics Another marked parallel with Republic is how Gorgias too concludes with an eschatological myth affirming the soul s survival after our death and its punishment or reward in the afterlife for a life lived unjustly or the reverseJust like in Republic the trial and the execution is hinted at but in Gorgias they loom large and threatening Plato callously converting hindsight into foresight and charging Socrates sentences with prophetic doom and an early condemnation of the system that precipitates his own death in the near future Socrates is made to relive a prophetic version of the trial and speaks as though it was all but inevitable in such a corrupt system that a man like him has an ending like that It remind s one of Jesus s early or similarly hindsight foresight inversion exhortations to his disciples about how the cross was waiting at the end of the roadA Deeper GlanceEvent though Gorgias is an earlier work allegedly and is sketchy in comparison to republic it also allows us a closer look at one aspect of Plato s concern on Oratory The method employed to condemn Oratory by using the distinction between art and knack gives important clues on why Plato goes on to condemn all of Poetry in Republic The reason I feel is that Poetry like Oratory was a public art in Plato s time both intended to pursued without true knowledge Hence the same method when extended to Poetry would allow Plato to conclude that Poetry and storytelling too are knacks developed from experience and hence less than the genuine arts Here is a dose of the brilliant exposition Pastry baking has put on the mask of medicine and pretends to know the foods that are best for the body so that if a pastry baker and a doctor had to compete in front of children or in front of men just as foolish as children to determine which of the two the doctor or the pastry baker had expert knowledge of good food and bad the doctor would die of starvation I call this flattery and I say that such a thing is shameful Polus it s you I m saying this to because it guesses at what s pleasant with no consideration for what s best And I say that it isn t a craft but a knack because it has no account of the nature of whatever things it applies by which it applies them so that it s unable to state the cause of each thing And I refuse to call anything that lacks such an account a craft If you have any uarrel with these claims I m willing to submit them for discussionSo pastry baking as I say is the flattery that wears the mask of medicine Cosmetics is the one that wears that of gymnastics in the same way a mischievous deceptive disgraceful and ill bred thing one that perpetrates deception by means of shaping and coloring smoothing out and dressing up so as to make people assume an alien beauty and neglect their own which comes through gymnastics So that I won t make a long style speech I m willing to put it to you the way the geometers do for perhaps you follow me now that what cosmetics is to gymnastics pastry baking is to medicine or rather like this what cosmetics is to gymnastics sophistry is to legislation and what pastry baking is to medicine oratory is to justice While this the argument from analogy with Doctors is a favorite of Socrates may be true to an extent Plato does not give consideration to the possibility that the story tellers or substitute ChefsDocs if you really want to might actually have a greater understanding than the philosophers about the mysterious workings of the human soul It is blasphemy to conclude on this note but it is an exciting thread to pursue further in the reading of PlatoA Note on the TranslationThis translation gets the right mix of ponderous phrasing elegance and readability conveying the ancient mystiue and the modern relevance Also it is broken up well into small parts each with an introductory passage always initiating the reader into what is about to transpire in the dialogue This might be irritating to the seasoned reader but is a pleasant respite for the novice and functions like the small interludes that Plato himself likes to inject into his dialoguesIt is also true that this acts like a spoiler and takes away from the thrill of the argument being developed by Socrates I personally started coming back to the introductory passage after reading the actual text so as to reinforce instead of foreshadow the argument I would advice the same course for future readers as wellDisclaimerAs is evident from the review itself this reviewer is still too much under the influence of Republic and this reading was conducted almost entirely in its shadow Hence the review is a biased and incomplete one that does no justice to Gorgias Gorgias is a complex and lengthy dialogue that deserves independent study and cannot be treated as a mere appendix to Republic as this review may seem to suggest That was not the intentThis reviewer found the parallels and contrasts with Republic very fascinating and spent most time debating that but the ideas expressed in Gorgias are as stunning and intellectually engaging and forays into territory left unexplored in Republic The elaboration on techne might just be one of the centerpieces of Platonic thought Gorgias is a must read among the later Early period dialogues of Plato an important step towards the middle period dialogues such as Meno almost a point of transition In fact Gorgias is necessary reading for any serious reader of Republic No excusesPostscript I would love a T shirt like that Anybody

Read & Download ✓ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Þ Plato

Oral standards essential or should we give our preference to the pragmatist who gets things done or negotiates successfully Should individuals be motivated by a desire for personal power an. for philosophy Socrates if pursued in moderation and at the proper age is an elegant accomplishment but too much philosophy is the ruin of human life Gorgias is easily one of Plato s best stand alone dialogues Indeed as others have mentioned it often reads like a germinal version of the Republic so closely does it track the same themes A transitional dialogue the early know nothing Socrates of unanswered uestions is already gone instead we get Socrates espousing some of Plato s key positions on truth and morality Socrates descends on a party of rhetoricians seemingly determined to expose them He uestions Gorgias a well known teacher of rhetoric in the attempt to pinpoint what exactly rhetoric consists of We get the usual Socratic paradoxes if we ought to be convinced by knowledgeable people a doctor when it comes to medicine an architect when it comes to buildings how can somebody who lacks this knowledge teach the art of convincing Gorgias insists that rhetoric is used to accomplish justice But is Gorgias an expert on justice No Are his pupils already just Neither And cannot rhetoric be used for unjust ends Of course This effectively trips up the old rhetorician Gorgias energetic young pupil Polus steps up to defend the old master He denies what Gorgias said about rhetoric being used to accomplish justice and instead claims that it is used to gain power This brings Socrates to another one of his paradoxes that powerful orators are actually to be pitied since inflicting injustice is worse than suffering injustice Though Polus laughs Socrates trips him up just as they did his mentor by getting him to assent to a seemingly unobjectionable proposition and then deducing from them surprising conclusions Socrates was not you see without his own rhetorical tricks Polus finds himself agreeing that tyrants are to be pitied At this Callicles enters the fray not a rhetorician but an Athenian gentleman and a man of affairs who plays the same role that Thrasymachus plays in the Republic He scorns philosophy and insults Socrates All this highfalutin talk of justice and truth and such rubbish Doesn t Socrates know that what is right is a mere convention and justice is simply whatever the strong wish Socrates then embarks on his usual procedure trying to get Callicles to assent to a proposition that is incompatible with Callicles position Callicles eventually gets confused and tired and gives up allowing Socrates to finish with a grand speech and a Platonic myth about the judgment of souls To the modern reader very little in this dialogue will be convincing Plato is no doubt right that rhetoric is at best neither bad nor good but is akin to cosmetics or cooking rather than exercise or medicine the art of pleasing rather than improving people Yet since we have learned that we cannot trust people to be selfless disinterested seekers after the truth as Socrates repeatedly claims to be we have decided that it s best to let self interested parties compete with all the tools at their disposal for their audience s attention Heaven knows this procedure is far from perfect and leaves us vulnerable to demagogues But the world has proven depressingly bereft of pure souls like Socrates Also unconvincing is Plato s moral stance namely that those who commit injustice are to be pitied rather than envied He proves of course that the unjust are deserving of punishment than the just this was never in doubt But he does not and cannot prove that the unjust are less happy since a single jolly tyrant would refute his whole chain of reasoning Indeed by establishing a moral precept that is so independent of happiness Socrates falls into the same plight as did Kant in his categorical imperative This is a serious difficulty since if acting justly can easily lead to unhappiness what is the motivation to do so The only way out of this dilemma as both thinkers seemed to realize was to hypothesize an afterlife where everyone got their just desserts the good their reward and the bad their castigation Needless to say I do not find this solution compelling Yet you can disagree with all of Plato s positions and still relish this dialogue This is because as usual the most charming thing about Plato is that he is so much bigger than his conclusions Though Socrates is Plato s hero and mouthpiece Plato also seems to be aware of Socrates and his own limitations Callicles is not a mere strawman but puts forward a truly consistent worldview and Plato leaves it in doubt whether his own arguments prevailed He even puts some good comebacks in Callicles mouth Yes by the Gods you are literally always talking of cobblers and fullers and cooks and doctors as if this had to do with our argument By the Gods he is The Prince of Pleasure (The Wilde Brothers, young pupil Polus steps up to defend the old master He denies what Gorgias said about rhetoric being used to accomplish justice and instead claims that it is used to gain power This brings Socrates to another one of his paradoxes that powerful orators are actually to be pitied since inflicting injustice is worse than suffering injustice Though Polus laughs Socrates trips him up just as they did his mentor by getting him to assent to a seemingly unobjectionable proposition and then deducing from them surprising conclusions Socrates was not Hers to Protect you see without his own rhetorical tricks Polus finds himself agreeing that tyrants are to be pitied At this Callicles enters the fray not a rhetorician but an Athenian gentleman and a man of affairs who plays the same role that Thrasymachus plays in the Republic He scorns philosophy and insults Socrates All this highfalutin talk of justice and truth and such rubbish Doesn t Socrates know that what is right is a mere convention and justice is simply whatever the strong wish Socrates then embarks on his usual procedure trying to get Callicles to assent to a proposition that is incompatible with Callicles position Callicles eventually gets confused and tired and gives up allowing Socrates to finish with a grand speech and a Platonic myth about the judgment of souls To the modern reader very little in this dialogue will be convincing Plato is no doubt right that rhetoric is at best neither bad nor good but is akin to cosmetics or cooking rather than exercise or medicine the art of pleasing rather than improving people Yet since we have learned that we cannot trust people to be selfless disinterested seekers after the truth as Socrates repeatedly claims to be we have decided that it s best to let self interested parties compete with all the tools at their disposal for their audience s attention Heaven knows this procedure is far from perfect and leaves us vulnerable to demagogues But the world has proven depressingly bereft of pure souls like Socrates Also unconvincing is Plato s moral stance namely that those who commit injustice are to be pitied rather than envied He proves of course that the unjust are deserving of punishment than the just this was never in doubt But he does not and cannot prove that the unjust are less happy since a single jolly tyrant would refute his whole chain of reasoning Indeed by establishing a moral precept that is so independent of happiness Socrates falls into the same plight as did Kant in his categorical imperative This is a serious difficulty since if acting justly can easily lead to unhappiness what is the motivation to do so The only way out of this dilemma as both thinkers seemed to realize was to hypothesize an afterlife where everyone got their just desserts the good their reward and the bad their castigation Needless to say I do not find this solution compelling Yet Her Small-Town Hero you can disagree with all of Plato s positions and still relish this dialogue This is because as usual the most charming thing about Plato is that he is so much bigger than his conclusions Though Socrates is Plato s hero and mouthpiece Plato also seems to be aware of Socrates and his own limitations Callicles is not a mere strawman but puts forward a truly consistent worldview and Plato leaves it in doubt whether his own arguments prevailed He even puts some good comebacks in Callicles mouth Yes by the Gods Red Tail (Travis Trilogy you are literally always talking of cobblers and fullers and cooks and doctors as if this had to do with our argument By the Gods he is

Plato Þ 5 characters

D prestige or genuine concern for the moral betterment of the citizens These uestions go to the heart of Athenian democratic principles and are relevant than ever in today's political clima. An excellent example of philosophy justifying itself Everybody has heard the whole cranky rather arrogant and patronizing remark made when someone who doesn t read very much or doesn t read for pleasure or instruction feels like scoffing a bit Why are you reading this boring old stuff Philosophy s good when you re younger and you don t know anything but once you become a real adult you should just let that stuff go It s interesting that Socrates calls Gorgias out for basically making that case outright and putting Socrates in his place or seeming to by doing so Socrates asks him if he thinks a Catamite the catcher in the boudoir if you please is living a good life Gorgias sputters and says no Well says Socrates if you think that constantly seeking pleasure and satisfaction is all you need maybe those very desires you have aren t going to be fulfilled and so you re really just constantly consistently being the butt boy for your own endless fruitless pursuit of gratification It s always amused me how Socrates gets away with laying the smack down like that


10 thoughts on “Gorgias by Plato

  1. says:

    Γοργίας = Gorgias (dialogue), Plato, Walter Hamilton (Translator), Chris Emlyn Jones (Commentary)Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1960 = 1339, In 149 Pages‬Gorgias is a Socratic dialogue written by Plato around 380 BC. The dialo

  2. says:

    A Starker DialogueGorgias is very similar in structure, content, focus and argument with the Republic. In fact, it comes across almost a half formed version of it, and scholars argue that it is in many ways like an early sketch for Republic. B

  3. says:

    The Gorgias is perhaps the dialogue where the talent of Socrates shines with all its brilliance in its confrontations where it defeats and mates its contradictors sophists in particular Calliclès.Socrates lets his interlocutor speak, or less pretends to abound to give him the leisure to expose himself and little by little

  4. says:

    Well, if one was to sum up, it would be hard to go past Plato’s own summary: “And of all that has been said, nothing remains unsha

  5. says:

    … for philosophy, Socrates, if pursued in moderation and at the proper age, is an elegant accomplishment, but too much philosophy is the ruin of human life. Gorgias is easily one of Plato’s be

  6. says:

    Men do bad when they do what they merely think best, rather than what they most deeply desire. That seems to be the central point of t

  7. says:

    We should devote all our own and our community's energies towards ensuring the presence of justice and self discipline, and so guaranteeing happiness.So Socrates wanted to make Athens great again and along the way gave the pundits and consultants the what for. His argument is measured and allows the three stooges to defeat their own assert

  8. says:

    This book is a masterpiece. It includes a critical text, and a line by line philological commentary. But even the reader without Greek

  9. says:

    An excellent example of philosophy justifying itself. Everybody has heard the whole cranky, rather arrogant and patronizing remark made when someone who doesn't read very much or doesn't read for pleasure or instruction feels like scoffing a bit: "Why are you reading this boring old stuff? Philosophy's good when you're younger, and you don't know anything, but once you become a real adult you should just let th

  10. says:

    What I recall about Gorgias again from my sopho university philosophy class was that there was a lengthy discussion of orators and how they ar

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *