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Essay 1 - Plato

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Introduction

Zach Kulzer History 101H Mr. Dawsey September 29, 2010 Essay 1 - Plato Plato's Gorgias is a dialogue in which Socrates is placed in many arguments about many different subjects against many different opponents. Both sides of the arguments are very fair, but of course Socrates' side of them is always one step ahead of the opponent. Some arguments Socrates is placed in are how to distinguish the difference between two different forms of speaking, how escaping the punishment for wrong doing is one of the worst ideas a person could do, how those who are bravest and strongest should not rule and have more than those who are ruled. Socrates distinguishes the "art of reasoning" from Gorgias being "oratory" in a many different ways. One example of this is when Socrates and Polus are speaking about what kind of man Gorgias. Polus gives a long answer that Socrates diminishes to Gorgias being plainly oratory. Socrates wanted a simple answer from the beginning that Polus couldn't give to him and Socrates, being as creative as he is, narrows a long specific answer down to being just oratory. ...read more.

Middle

Socrates also brings up the point that it is better to suffer wrong than to do wrong. Polus argues back that "suffering wrong is worse than doing wrong, and doing wrong is more shameful than suffering wrong, but being more shameful is not being worse" (Plato 49). Archelaus' story about him killing people and escaping punishment for his wrong doing causes his life to be the worst possible according to Socrates. By Archelaus avoided his penalty and therefore wasn't able to cleanse his soul of the actions he committed. Therefore, someone who punished correctly for their own wrong doing is better off than someone who does something wrong and then escapes their correct punishment. Socrates then has another argument, this time with Callicles who brings up that the strongest and the bravest should rule and have more than the ruled. Callicles states that pleasure and good are equal and Socrates' answer is the basis for this argument. Socrates brings up the point that bad pleasure is possible, but bad goodness is definitely not possible. ...read more.

Conclusion

He also proves all of his points very well with his reasoning skills and the way he asks his opponents questions in order to prove his own point, that way his opponents end up feeling stupid and end up agreeing with the opposite thing they started arguing with. Socrates' side of the arguments were definitely more convincing than Polus' or Callicles due to the fact of his very intelligent answers and the way he could convince people. Socrates uses common sense throughout all his arguments along with his knowledge which is very important because if a person has one without the other than they will always be one step behind someone who has both knowledge and common sense. This helps Socrates out the most because of his logical sides of the arguments and ability to have his opponent prove his own point by asking legitimate questions to make one understand completely where he is coming from on every aspect of the argument. Plato definitely helps Socrates keep his reputation of one of the most intelligent and creative Greek philosophers ever throughout the entire dialogue of Gorgias. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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