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Gorgias [Translation] by Plato

Gorgias [Translation]

by Plato, Gorgias (Contributor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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We should devote all our own and our community's energies towards ensuring the presence of justice and self-discipline, and so guaranteeing happiness.

So Socrates wanted to make Athens great again and along the way gave the pundits and consultants the what for. His argument is measured and allows the three stooges to defeat their own assertions in fits of bumbling exasperation. The virtues of work and health are explored with nary a word about the lamp above the Golden Door. This notion of moderation was embraced during the Enlightenment but has recently fell from grace Quoting The Tick, Evil wears every possible mitten. That said the argument of the good, the moral hinges here on a tiny necessity, the afterworld , a world of never ending happiness, you can always see the sun, day or night.

Well the current corruption of these words Good and Great have launched their own raid on the Dialogues. Plato asserts most of politics is flattery and power. Socrates knew that and wound up on a state sponsored trip across the Styx.

All we can do is resist. Resist. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
A solid Platonic dialogue. ( )
  DanielSTJ | Dec 17, 2018 |
Gorgias around 380 BC. The dialogue depicts a conversation between Socrates and a small group of sophists (and other guests) at a dinner gathering. Socrates debates with the sophist seeking the true definition of rhetoric, attempting to pinpoint the essence of rhetoric and unveil the flaws of the sophistic oratory popular in Athens at the time. The art of persuasion was widely considered necessary for political and legal advantage in classical Athens, and rhetoricians promoted themselves as teachers of this fundamental skill. Some, like Gorgias, were foreigners attracted to Athens because of its reputation for intellectual and cultural sophistication. In the Gorgias, Socrates argues that philosophy is an art, whereas rhetoric is a skill based on mere experience. To Socrates, most rhetoric is in practice merely flattery. To use rhetoric for good, rhetoric cannot exist alone. It must depend on philosophy to guide its morality, he argues. Socrates therefore believes that morality is not inherent in rhetoric and that without philosophy, rhetoric is simply used to persuade for personal gain. Socrates suggests that he is one of the few Athenians to practice true politics
1 vote burkenorm | Mar 10, 2018 |
This is a review of an ebook version of Gorgias, translated by Benjamin Jowett and with an introduction that I'm presuming to be Jowett's as well. If the intro is by someone else, please correct me.

Gorgias is a classic must-read for any modern student of Plato's classical musty-reads (no more bad puns, I promise). It is a great dialogue, and the character of Callicles presents views that are perhaps more present now than in the time of Plato.

We could ask the question: is one's answers to the questions posed by the dialogue as more often adaptations to the world we live in based on our personal skill sets than they are our own objective answers? I think with that in mind, it is tough to dismiss Callicles' views on the matter. We may wish to live in a world governed as Socrates' would have it, but too often we are ruled by people cut from Callicles' cloth. Gorgias is not just a stuffy old book we read for own own academic purposes. It is a book that makes us confront our own motivations and actions.

I think it is important to skip the introduction. I found it a frustrating display of the author's smugness. If you're going to comment on Plato: be up to the task not just in your mind but in your work. Jowett is quite certain Plato's and Socrates' reasoning is shoddy. He tells us over and over. He just doesn't show why it is shoddy. He doesn't tell us why or where their analogies fail. He doesn't define "happiness" for us, but he assures us that the Socrates is wrong about it. Is the criminal, wrought with guilt, happier when punished appropriately? Jowett doesn't think so, but he doesn't tell us why. He just assures us that Plato and Socrates are wrong, many times. They don't have the benefit of formal logic-- that's the best answer I find in Jowett's very detractory introduction. However, if one considers the works of Eric Berne, a game played by criminals and those who pursue them is meant by both parties to be punctuated by capture and punishment. In such cases, the criminal wants punishment. Jowett is writing around 100 years earlier than Berne, but I'm of the opinion here that Jowett should stick to translating and not commenting. Jowett also presents what I think are very obvious parallels between Socrates' views and Christian morality. I guess it is an improvement: going from telling that 2 of the greatest minds our species ever produced are just wrong, to telling us what is patently obvious. I don't think time should be wasted on the introduction. Jump right to the work.

Great work: skip the intro. ( )
1 vote LeftyRickBass | Sep 18, 2017 |
A little note light compared to more recent penguin editions of this sort of thing, but a fair trade off for the quality of the translation. Clearly written and does well at bringing out the speakers' tone. Socrates is in fine fettle in this dialogue, angry and sarcastic, and you can see how annoying he must have been. There's some really nice stuff relating to his death in the argument with Callicles, but that with Polus is the stand out argument for me. The idea that it's better to suffer wrong than inflict it is a reversal so huge it's really Socrates' version of turning the tables in the temple. My favourite bit though was the equation of crime with illness. I did something a few years ago that, not being illegal in this country, I wasn't punished for. I've never really come to terms with it because I never got to take my medicine. ( )
  Lukerik | Jul 24, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (61 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
PlatoAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
GorgiasContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Canto-Sperber, MoniqueEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dodds, E. R.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Feldhūns, ĀbramsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Helmbold, W. C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Irwin, TerenceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jowett, BenjaminTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Molegraaf, MarioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schleiermacher, FriedrichTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140440941, Paperback)

Taking the form of a dialogue between Socrates, Gorgias, Polus and Callicles, GORGIAS debates perennial questions about the nature of government and those who aspire to public office.

Are high moral 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 and prestige, or genuine concern for the moral betterment of the citizens?

These questions go to the heart of Athenian democratic principles and are more relevant than ever in today's political climate.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:23 -0400)

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The Gorgias is a vivid introduction to central problems of moral and political philosophy. In answer to an eloquent attack on morality as conspiration of the weak against the strong, Plato develops his own doctrine, insisting that the benefits of being moral always outweigh any benefits to bewon from immorality. He applies his views to such questions as the errors of democracy, the role of the political expert in society, and the justification of punishment.In the notes to this translation, Professor Irwin discusses the historical and social context of the dialogue, expounds and criticizes the arguments, and tries above all to suggest the questions a modern reader ought to raise about Plato's doctrines.

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