Socrates and Gorgias

Phronesis 55 (1):1-25 (2010)
In this paper I try to solve some problems concerning the interpretation of Socrates' conversation with Gorgias about the nature of rhetoric in Plato's Gorgias (448e6-461b2). I begin by clarifying what, ethically, is at stake in the conversation (section 2). In the main body of the paper (sections 3-6) I address the question of what we are to understand Gorgias as believing about the nature of rhetoric: I criticise accounts given by Charles Kahn and John Cooper, and suggest an alternative account of my own. In the final section I spell out some of the implications of my account for the interpretation of the Gorgias, and of Plato more generally.
Keywords Plato   Gorgias   ethics   Davidson   justice   rhetoric
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DOI 10.1163/003188610X12589452898769
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Jeffrey Benjamin White (2008). How Did Socrates Become Socrates? Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 2:205-212.
Jeff Kochan (2006). Rescuing the Gorgias From Latour. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 36 (4):395-422.
John Cooper (1982). The "Gorgias" and Irwin's Socrates. Review of Metaphysics 35 (3):577 - 587.

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