A friendly companion to Plato's Gorgias by George Kimball Plochmann

By George Kimball Plochmann

A accomplished examine of “one of the main elusive and refined” of the entire Platonic dialogues. The Gorgias starts off with a dialogue of the character and cost of rhetoric and develops into an impassioned argument for the primacy of absolute correct (as expressed by way of sense of right and wrong) within the legislation of either private and non-private lifestyles. Plochmann and Robinson heavily learn this nice discussion within the first two-thirds in their publication, handing over the ultimate 4 chapters to a broader dialogue of its solidarity, sweep, and philosophic implications.

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Extra resources for A friendly companion to Plato's Gorgias

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Books and papers, some of which scarcely refer to the Gorgias at all but that seem especially clearheaded and convincing to us on matters of principle are writings by Richard McKeonhim most of alland by (we list them in alphabetical order) Reginald E. Allen, John P. Anton, Allan Bloom, Robert S. Brumbaugh, Robert D. Cumming, Paul Friedländer, Robert G. Hoerber, Charles E. Kahn, Stanley Rosen, Herman L. Sinaiko, Adele Spitzer, Robert Sternfeld, Eric Voegelin, and Harold Zyskind. There is, however, no good reason to believe that all of them would agree with each other, though family resemblances might be detected in many cases, or that they would countenance what we have maintained in this book.

Augustine, Hobbes, Nietzsche, and many others, not to mention Hindu and Buddhist texts. But these cannot be germane to Plato's methods that he places at the disposal of Socrates and his stubborn antagonists. The Substance of the Arguments The overwhelming preponderance of commentary has dealt chiefly with the substance of the many statements and their supporting arguments in the Gorgias. If the other three aspects of the work are slighted, however, the dialectical meanings will be liable to misapprehension.

13 The attack upon illegitimate analogies results in contradiction if the attack is successful: Two incompatible conclusions are reached, both of them with the assent of the proponent of the original illegitimate statement, and the incompatibility is duly acknowledged. The result of this in the Gorgias is not a stalemate (as it sometimes is in other dialogues, such as the Lysis, Laches, Euthyphro), but a reversal permitting Socrates to move to some new phase of his own position. Thus after Gorgias is reduced to contradiction, Socrates is able to propose the Divided Oblong; and when Polus throws in the towel, Socrates is ready to make an altogether new statement about loversone that carries intermittently through the rest of the dialogue, and which, with various windings and turnings, eventually becomes an aid to establishing the superiority of the philosopher over the rhetor.

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