Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (3):451-461 (2009)

Dylan Futter
University of the Witwatersrand
In gorgias, socrates stands accused of argumentative "foul play" involving manipulation by shame. Polus says that Socrates wins the fight with Gorgias by shaming him into the admission that "a rhetorician knows what is right . . . and would teach this to his pupils" . And later, when Polus himself has been "tied up" and "muzzled" , Callicles says that he was refuted only because he was ashamed to reveal his true convictions . These allegations, if justified, directly undermine Socrates' claim to be improving his interlocutors by argument. For if Socrates' use of shame tends to produce insincere assertion, then elenchus cannot serve as a tool for moral reform.In an important recent paper, Jessica Moss presents a new apologia for Socrates on these old charges. According to Moss, although Socrates adopts a strategy of shaming rather than reasoning his interlocutors into agreement, this is legitimate because his appeals to shame function as appeals to a moral sense, which connect a person to his own "deep" convictions. Moreover, she claims that shame "can be a more effective tool of persuasion than reason," for it is capable, where reason is not, of dislodging a person's "intuitive" moral beliefs. This essay argues that each of these points is mistaken.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI S1538458609300041
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Dimensiones psicológicas del elenchos en el Gorgias.Richard D. Parry - 2015 - Archai: Revista de Estudos Sobre as Origens Do Pensamento Ocidental 14:65-76.
Elenchos, intelectualismo y verguënza en el Gorgias de Platón.Esteban Bieda - 2015 - Archai: Revista de Estudos Sobre as Origens Do Pensamento Ocidental 14:77-91.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Plato's Gorgias: Audio Cd. Plato - 1998 - Agora Publications.
Plato's Gorgias. Plato - forthcoming - Audio CD.
Socrates and Gorgias.James Doyle - 2010 - Phronesis 55 (1):1-25.
Gorgias' Defense: Plato and His Opponents on Rhetoric and the Good.Rachel Barney - 2010 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 48 (1):95-121.


Added to PP index

Total views
281 ( #34,251 of 2,454,995 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
15 ( #44,724 of 2,454,995 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes