Posted at 10.30.2018
Plato was one of the most crucial Greek philosophers in our time. He founded the Academy in Athens, an establishment specialized in research and instructions in viewpoint and the sciences; the first establishment of higher learning under western culture. His works on beliefs, politics and mathematics were very important and laid the foundations for Euclid's organized method of mathematics.
Gorgias is a dialogue in which Plato models the rhetorician Gorgias towards the philosopher Socrates; Plato's mentor. Gorgias was a Sicilian philosopher, orator, and rhetorician. He is assumed by many scholars to be one of the founders of sophism ; a movement typically associated with viewpoint that emphasizes the request of rhetoric toward civic and political life.
The dialogue starts right after Gorgias got given a talk at an exhibition where he replied questions help with to him however Socrates skipped this. Socrates was offered to visit Gorgias and was permitted to question him as long as he liked. Socrates wished to "hear from him what's the type of his skill, and what it is which he professes and teaches".
Socrates initiates by requesting Gorgias what he is and what rhetoric is and Gorgias replies in a typical rhetorician's manner, using soft language and seemingly sophisticated structure and not really responding to the question at all. Gorgias is described rhetoric as an 'art'. Rhetoric signifies 'The fine art or review of using dialect effectively and persuasively'. Even though Gorgias procedures rhetoric, he had not been very convincing when responding to questions done by Socrates. He provided brief answers and was instantly refuted by Socrates in a very convincing fashion. Polus is also not so convincing as he's being accused by Socrates of speechifying rather than answering questions: "Polus has been taught steps to make a capital conversation"
Interestingly, Socrates didn't agree to rhetoric as a skill yet he was practicing this 'fine art' while asking Gorgias questions. He was looking to encourage the three speakers that rhetoric was rather an experience alternatively than an 'art work'.
Gorgias boasts that rhetoric can be an art which snacks of discourse but says that all the the other arts which work completely through the means of words is not regarded as rhetoric. The question is: What's so different about rhetoric that uses its ability of persuasion and all the other arts that also utilize this power?
The dialogue moves on to speak about power, evil & happiness. Matching to Polus rhetoric equals electricity and that ability is a good thing but Socrates on the other palm says that rhetoricians have no power; "for these people so literally nothing which they will, but only what they think best". You can say that the enjoyable things are done since it is gratifying to do it but Plato methods to put emphasis on that any such action is not done for the reason of itself and its particular performance, but rather for the sake of the pleasure which includes it. This also supports for a true art work, an action which is good not only alone but also what good comes from it. That clarifies why Plato believes that the true rhetoric is only which is done with regard to the good. For Socrates, rhetoric should be used to do good stuff, to punish the bad rather than the nice. ; Or rhetoric is not a use to us.
As Callicles enters the dialogue with Socrates he starts to undermined viewpoint. Not only does he undermines the characteristics of philosophical inquiry and its marked concentrate on words but Callicles also makes some quite severe statements of his own against any man such as Socrates who continues the chase of viewpoint as a main focus into adulthood. By using this matter of discouragement on idea on the "disgrace" of Socrates' duration of philosophical review he shows to Socrates that he's not being that good of a pal, after Socrates felt that Callicles had knowledge, good-will and outspokenness.
Socrates believed that no matter what the price was, total integrity and real truth was the only option for someone to live a happy, satisfying life.
As he said that doing incorrect is much more bad than suffering incorrect, that rhetoric should only be used for the sake of the nice and that each wrongdoer should be justly punished.
Interestingly, Socrates understand that a lot of the people won't understand his theories and he does not try to persuade everyone with his beliefs, he just uses a method "is to call in support of my assertions the data of an individual witness, the man I am arguing with, and take his vote alone; the rest of the world are little or nothing to me; I am not talking to them. " This is exactly what makes him an interesting person who he not wanting to win sympathies of men and women but only will try to make his antagonist understand his factors.
Callicles' speech is the fact that of the sophist. He increases no questions in his speech, and does not attempt to use logic to prove his points. In the long run, Callicles speaks about his own thoughts for quite some time, and as his proof, estimates three lines of a historical poem. That isn't to say that a few of Callicles' ideas aren't valid, that he will not allow for debate, and therefore manages to lose a chance to perhaps show his point to Socrates or the other interlocutors.
Jennifer Richards has not mentioned in her book that Socrates didn't encourage Callicles of the 'true rhetoric' I believe it is interesting that he convinced Polus and Gorgias but with Callicles he had no such luck. "The way that you in mistaken self-assurance are urging after me; it is quite worthless, Callicles"
Eventually, Socrates remains mainly true to his approach to talk. His use of speeches as means of expanding his opinions, rather than pressure them is quite successful for him. Despite a few digressions, he refrains from using oratory or rhetoric unlike the interlocutors, and although he is struggling to influence Callicles of the "truth", he's not unsuccessful in the sense that he defended himself against the methods of the sophists.