Evanston, IL, USA: Northwestern University Press (2018)

Robert Metcalf
University of Colorado at Denver
A careful reading of the Gorgias along with related dialogues, such as the Apology, the Theaetetus, and other texts, shows that agonism is indispensable to the critique of prevailing opinions, to the transformation of the interlocutor through shame-inducing elenchos, and to philosophy as an ongoing, lifelong ‘training’ (askêsis) of oneself in relation to others. In this way, following Plato’s texts in understanding philosophy as agôn involves rethinking philosophy as an engaged contestation of one’s peers and the received opinions that are part of our relatedness to one another, as well as rethinking agôn as involving not just verbal combativeness, but also—in line with its root-meaning—as a matter of being gathered together in community through discourse (logos).
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