Challenging the Established Order: Socrates’ Perversion of Callicles’ Position in Plato’s Gorgias

Abstract

In this article I argue that Socrates sees one important truth in the position Callicles represents in the Gorgias: it is necessary in the case of extreme philosophical provocation to be able to overthrow completely the received order and to maintain oneself in the face of unimagined possibility. Without this faith in the power of wisdom to overturn and destroy received wisdom, philosophy would not be able to shepherd the good into the world in Socratic fashion. Interpreters are generally correct to view Callicles as a threat to the Socratic ehtical position, but they generally fail to see that Socratic wisdom cannot operate without drawing substantially on the destruction of received order that Callicles promotes to a position of unique value in his competing ethical stance. Thus I read the conversation between Socrates and Callicles as an opportunity for Socrates to stand face to face with that aspect of his own philosophical wisdom that seems at first glance hostile to his own position.

Download options

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,855

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2012-09-18

Downloads
46 (#250,494)

6 months
1 (#386,001)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Question of Temperance and Hedonism in Callicles.Kristian Urstad - 2011 - Leeds International Classical Studies.
Colloquium 5: Attempting the Political Art.Christopher Long - 2012 - Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy 27 (1):153-182.
Psychological Dimensions of Elenchus in the Gorgias.Richard D. Parry - 2015 - Archai: Revista de Estudos Sobre as Origens Do Pensamento Ocidental 14:65-76.
How Did Socrates Become Socrates?: On the Socratic Recipe for the Philosophic Life.Jeffrey Benjamin White - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 4:93-100.
Images of the Soul in Plato's Gorgias.Alessandra Fussi - 1997 - Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University
How Did Socrates Become Socrates?: On the Socratic Recipe for the Philosophic Life.Jeffrey Benjamin White - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 2:205-212.
Socrates and Callicles on Pleasure.Scott Berman - 1991 - Phronesis 36 (2):117-140.
Callicles and Socrates: Psychic (Dis) Harmony in the Gorgias.Raphael Woolf - 2000 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 18:1-40.
Plato's Gorgias: Audio Cd. Plato - 1998 - Agora Publications.