The Argument of The Gorgias

Terence Irwin

in Plato's Ethics

Published in print March 1995 | ISBN: 9780195086454
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833306 | DOI:
The Argument of The Gorgias

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The purpose of chapter 7 is to outline the role played by the Gorgias in the development of Plato’s ethical views. To start with, the characteristics and the peculiarities of rhetoric are evaluated. Then, it is presented how Socrates, although he attacks Callicles’ hedonism, maintains an instrumentalist conception according to which virtues are means for achieving happiness. In conclusion, Socrates’ adaptive doctrine of happiness, which appears to imply that happiness consists in the satisfaction of one’s desires, is discussed.

Keywords: Happiness; Plato; Callicles; Desires; Gorgias; Hedonism; Pleasure; Rhetoric

Chapter.  8432 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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