20 - Virtue Meets its Match: Plato's Gorgias

Peter discusses one of Plato’s great dialogues on ethics, the Gorgias, in which Socrates compares rhetoric to pastry-making and squares off against the immoralist Callicles.

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Further Reading: 

E.R. Dodds, Plato. Gorgias (Oxford: 1959).

T. Irwin (trans.), Plato. Gorgias (Oxford: 1979).

Several papers on the Gorgias by J. Doyle at Bristol.


TD's picture

3/4 of UK and North America have holes in their jars

I just watched a BBC special on the "Men Who Made Us Fat" and the associations in the program sure reflect exactly what Socrates says in Gorgias -it seems the majority of Britain and America are diet hedonists with plenty of holes in their jars. What makes all these people fat? Perhaps they are all personal tyrants and unknowingly ignorant to the cause of their affliction since they didn't examine themselves or the suggestions of the "experts" carefully enough - eventually personifying the unhappy tyrant's life.

It's been 2500 years and we're still doing the same silly things? Personally I think many of Platos dialogues should be mandatory in final year public school and definitely in first and second year university. I didnt have any offered to me in either my science or business degree except as an elective and at the time I didnt even know what philosophy was. Shouldnt we heed Socrates in the Euthydemus and first make sure we are good before we're given the power to become a scientist, banker, politician or any citizen possessing any degree of power and the will to use it?