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Γοργίας characters ð eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB Plato ↠ 7 free download read Γοργίας Oral standards essential or should we give our preference to the pragmatist who gets things done or negotiates successfully Should individuals be motivated by a desire for personal power an for philosophy Socrates if pursued in moderation and at the proper age is an elegant accomplishment but too much philosophy is the ruin of human life Gorgias is easily one of Plato s best stand alone dialogues Indeed as others have mentioned it often reads like a germinal version of the Republic so closely does it track the same themes A transitional dialogue the early know nothing Socrates of unanswered uestions is already gone instead we get Socrates espousing some of Plato s key positions on truth and morality Socrates descends on a party of rhetoricians seemingly determined to expose them He uestions Gorgias a well known teacher of rhetoric in the attempt to pinpoint what exactly rhetoric consists of We get the usual Socratic paradoxes if we ought to be convinced by knowledgeable people a doctor when it comes to medicine an architect when it comes to buildings how can somebody who lacks this knowledge teach the art of convincing Gorgias insists that rhetoric is used to accomplish justice But is Gorgias an expert on justice No Are his pupils already just Neither And cannot rhetoric be used for unjust ends Of course This effectively trips up the old rhetorician Gorgias energetic young pupil Polus steps up to defend the old master He denies what Gorgias said about rhetoric being used to accomplish justice and instead claims that it is used to gain power This brings Socrates to another one of his paradoxes that powerful orators are actually to be pitied since inflicting injustice is worse than suffering injustice Though Polus laughs Socrates trips him up just as they did his mentor by getting him to assent to a seemingly unobjectionable proposition and then deducing from them surprising conclusions Socrates was not you see without his own rhetorical tricks Polus finds himself agreeing that tyrants are to be pitied At this Callicles enters the fray not a rhetorician but an Athenian gentleman and a man of affairs who plays the same role that Thrasymachus plays in the Republic He scorns philosophy and insults Socrates All this highfalutin talk of justice and truth and such rubbish Doesn t Socrates know that what is right is a mere convention and justice is simply whatever the strong wish Socrates then embarks on his usual procedure trying to get Callicles to assent to a proposition that is incompatible with Callicles position Callicles eventually gets confused and tired and gives up allowing Socrates to finish with a grand speech and a Platonic myth about the judgment of souls To the modern reader very little in this dialogue will be convincing Plato is no doubt right that rhetoric is at best neither bad nor good but is akin to cosmetics or cooking rather than exercise or medicine the art of pleasing rather than improving people Yet since we have learned that we cannot trust people to be selfless disinterested seekers after the truth as Socrates repeatedly claims to be we have decided that it s best to let self interested parties compete with all the tools at their disposal for their audience s attention Heaven knows this procedure is far from perfect and leaves us vulnerable to demagogues But the world has proven depressingly bereft of pure souls like Socrates Also unconvincing is Plato s moral stance namely that those who commit injustice are to be pitied rather than envied He proves of course that the unjust are deserving of punishment than the just this was never in doubt But he does not and cannot prove that the unjust are less happy since a single jolly tyrant would refute his whole chain of reasoning Indeed by establishing a moral precept that is so independent of happiness Socrates falls into the same plight as did Kant in his categorical imperative This is a serious difficulty since if acting justly can easily lead to unhappiness what is the motivation to do so The only way out of this dilemma as both thinkers seemed to realize was to hypothesize an afterlife where everyone got their just desserts the good their reward and the bad their castigation Needless to say I do not find this solution compelling Yet you can disagree with all of Plato s positions and still relish this dialogue This is because as usual the most charming thing about Plato is that he is so much bigger than his conclusions Though Socrates is Plato s hero and mouthpiece Plato also seems to be aware of Socrates and his own limitations Callicles is not a mere strawman but puts forward a truly consistent worldview and Plato leaves it in doubt whether his own arguments prevailed He even puts some good comebacks in Callicles mouth Yes by the Gods you are literally always talking of cobblers and fullers and cooks and doctors as if this had to do with our argument By the Gods he is

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Γοργίας characters ð eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB Plato ↠ 7 free download read Γοργίας D prestige or genuine concern for the moral betterment of the citizens These uestions go to the heart of Athenian democratic principles and are relevant than ever in today's political clima This book is a masterpiece It includes a critical text and a line by line philological commentary But even the reader without Greek will learn an enormous amount about Plato and related topics by reading it alongside a translation just skip all the entries dealing with purely philological mattersIt is often said that the best commentary on Aristotle is Aristotle Hence important commentaries on Aristotle spend most of their time uoting in Greek other passages from Aristotle The same is true for Plato and probably for all philosophers So keep a copy of the translated works handy and whenever Dodds or anyone cites a passage or refers to a passage follow up the referenceThe best translation of the collected works remains E Hamilton Cairns Lord not Cooper By a mile

Plato ↠ 7 free download

Γοργίας characters ð eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB Plato ↠ 7 free download read Γοργίας Taking the form of a dialogue between Socrates Gorgias Polus and Callicles GORGIAS debates perennial uestions about the nature of government and those who aspire to public office Are high m Well if one was to sum up it would be hard to go past Plato s own summary And of all that has been said nothing remains unshaken but the saying that to do injustice is to be avoided than to suffer injustice and that the reality and not the appearance of virtue is to be followed above all things as well in public as in private life and that when any one has been wrong in anything he is to be chastised and that the next best thing to a man being just is that he should become just and be chastised and punished also that he should avoid all flattery of himself as well as of others of the few or of the many and rhetoric and any other art should be used by him and all his actions should be done always with a view to justice I ve read this book as someone who is an atheist and therefore someone who can place little concern on the rewards or punishments of the afterlife Much of Plato s argument is supported by the idea that we should be moral in this life to avoid punishment in the next life I would like to think that his conclusions still stand for an atheist even if his arguments do not I m not sure how well Socrates answers Callicles arguments or rather attack Nietzsche later says much the same things about Socrates and his arguments his denial of life and how ugly Socrates is and how lacking in taste and common sense It seems clear for much of the text that Callicles is bored by Socrates arguments and only agrees to continue listening to Socrates because Gorgias asks to hear the rest of what Socrates has to say he abandons participation in the argument which is not the same as him being silenced by Socrates argument I would very much doubt that Callicles came away from this encounter feeling that Socrates was right and that one should prefer to suffer harm than to do harm The myth at the end was all very Christian and it is easy to see why Plato was so easy to be used by the Church I found it very interesting that at least two of what are taken to be standard Christian messages are clearly put forward by Socrates turn the other cheek literally in those terms too and the problem the rich and powerful will have in getting into paradise The import of this dialogue seem to me to be an even clearer statement of the golden rule than that contained in the Christian message surely the idea that we must avoid doing ill even prefering bad things to be done to us is virtuous than merely treating others as we would like to be treated ourselves So the uestion for me is whether it is possible to establish this as a conclusion an atheist could follow And to be honest I don t know I can t see what an atheist could base the good that is necessary to sustain this argument on Socrates is than willing to be prepared to die for his truth because he knows there is an afterlife in which the pleasures and sufferings of this life are as nothing His argument is that doing wrong harms the wrong doer s soul I think this is true even if I don t believe in a soul as such If we know we have done wrong there is nothing worse than feeling we have been rewarded for it When I was a child my mother caught me cheating at patience or solitaire for my American cousins I must have been old enough for her merely saying Are you cheating to not really count for much But what did count was when she said You are only cheating yourself I ve often wondered if that is a good lesson or not I still don t cheat and try to avoid situations where I can cheat myself or others but it does often seem that those who do cheat perhaps both themselves and others do end up better off And people do seem to have a near infinite capacity to rationalise away their actions so that they always do tend to see themselves in the end as entirely justified Plato s myth at the end of this dialogue where the wrong souls are being sent to the wrong places because they were being judged in their worldly finery just before they die seems relevant here Perhaps a means of attack on this is that the benefits of doing wrong are generally short lived you cheat and the benefit is rather fleeting but the knowledge that you cheated that you are the sort of person who would cheat that can be something that lasts with you all of your life Perhaps then this is the ground to support Plato s conclusions without resorting to his arguments that in the end one needs to be able to live with one s self and that is easier to do if we have been wronged than if we have wronged others That the punishments we inflict upon ourselves for wronging others are often worse than the punishments others would give us if they were to punish us I enjoyed this than the last time I read it the last time I read it I was much concerned that Socrates did not really answer Callicles s argument I still don t think he answers it but I m not as concerned now

  • Paperback
  • 208
  • Γοργίας
  • Plato
  • English
  • 22 February 2019
  • 9780140449044