The Framing of Socrates PDF

Socratic the Framing of Socrates PDF written by Plato around 380 BC. The question of techne: art vs.


Författare: Vivienne J. Gray.
Xenophon's Memorabilia is a principal source for the image of Socrates. Xenophon's argument about Socrates is here examined in its entirety for the first time in English as a product of his personal knowledge of Socrates, his use of rhetoric to persuade his audience, and of literary traditions which had already set in place the 'frame' for the acceptable image of the wise man. Xenophon innovates within these traditions to present a Socrates who innovated in the traditions of philosophy. The work is proven to have a unified and sustained rhetorical argument. It imitates the philosophical process that it attributes to Socrates. Xenophon's literary techniques and artistry, the nature of rhetoric and the literary traditions concerning the wise man are illuminated. Comparison with Plato is not a major focus, but the investigation increases awareness of the complexity of the 'Socratic problem'.

Socrates interrogates Gorgias to determine the true definition of rhetoric, framing his argument in the question format, „What is X? Throughout the remainder of the dialogue, Socrates debates about the nature of rhetoric. I suppose, and shameful public harangue, while the other—that of getting the souls of the citizens to be as good as possible and of striving valiantly to say what is best, whether the audience will find it more pleasant or more unpleasant—is something admirable. Socrates and Polus debate whether rhetoric can be considered an art.

POLUS: So you think oratory’s a knack? SOCRATES: Yes, I do, unless you say it’s something else. SOCRATES: For producing a certain gratification and pleasure. Socrates continues to argue that rhetoric is not an art, but merely a knack that „guesses at what’s pleasant with no consideration for what’s best.

Socrates discusses the morality of rhetoric with Gorgias, asking him if rhetoric was just. Socrates catches the incongruity in Gorgias statements: „well, at the time you said that, I took it that oratory would never be an unjust thing, since it always makes its speeches about justice. Socrates believes that rhetoric alone is not a moral endeavour. Socrates believes that people need philosophy to teach them what is right, and that oratory cannot be righteous without philosophy. Socrates continually claims that his methods of questioning are aimed at discovering the truth. He sarcastically compliments Callicles on his frankness because it helps expose the truth about oratory: „I well know that if you concur with what my soul believes, then that is the very truth. I realize that the person who intends to put a soul to an adequate test to see whether it lives rightly or not must have three qualities, all of which you have: knowledge, goodwill, and frankness.

At the same time, truth is not based upon commonly accepted beliefs. The dialogue begins just after Gorgias has given a speech. Callicles says that Gorgias is a guest in his home, and has agreed to a private audience with Socrates and his friend Chaerephon. Socrates gets Gorgias to agree to his cross-examination style of conversation.

Gorgias identifies his craft as rhetoric, and affirms that he should be called a rhetorician. As Socrates asks him questions, he praises him for the brevity of his replies. Gorgias admits under Socrates‘ cross-examination that while rhetoricians give people the power of words, they are not instructors of morality. Socrates says that he is one of those people who is actually happy to be refuted if he is wrong. He says that he would rather be refuted than to refute someone else because it is better to be delivered from harm oneself than to deliver someone else from harm. Gorgias, whose profession is persuasion, readily agrees that he is also this sort of man, who would rather be refuted than refute another. Socrates gets Gorgias to agree that the rhetorician is actually more convincing in front of an ignorant audience than an expert, because mastery of the tools of persuasion gives a man more conviction than mere facts.

Plato’s Gorgias agrees to the binary opposition knowledge vs. This is inaccurate because, „for Gorgias the sophist, all ‚knowledge‘ is opinion. Lumping tyrants and rhetoricians into a single category, Socrates says that both of them, when they kill people or banish them or confiscate their property, think they are doing what is in their own best interest, but are actually pitiable. He gives the example of tyrants being the most wretched people on earth. This analogy is used to define the states of corruption in each instance.