Comm Gorgias

Topics: Plato, Rhetoric, Socrates Pages: 4 (849 words) Published: February 25, 2014

Gorgias 447a-461b
I. General background about Plato
a. Plato lived from 424-328 b.c
b. A.N. Whitehead stated, “The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato. I do not mean the systematic scheme of thought which scholars have doubtfully extracted from his writings. I allude to the wealth of general ideas scattered through them.” i. There is so much rich stuff throughout his work

ii. He was a towering intellectual figure
c. Biography
i. Well-born on both his mother’s and his father’s side: many distinguished relatives ii. He was a noblemen
iii. Moved between poor and rich
iv. Socialized with everyone
v. Had a very complete education
vi. Rich cultural and athletic education: popular strength as a wrestler vii. Plato really means “broad-shouldered”
viii. Lived in a period of political turmoil in Athens­­
ix. Loosely and roughly on the conservative side
x. He was gay; interested in the connection between pederasty and pedagogy 1. In the cultural institutions that prevailed at the time,
2. Pedarastic relationship- was a common culture practice; was infused the teacher is the lover of the student (?) xi. Founded the “Academy” named from the place in which it me xii. Early travels in Egypt and Cyrene. Later in life involved in the politics of Syracuse xiii. Died in his bed

d. Writings
i. About 36 dialogues and several letters
ii. We have 90% of what he wrote
iii. Renowned for literary style
1. Plato was a literary genius
2. Most philosophers writing was very dry but not Plato
iv. The dialogue form
1. His philosophical writing is in dialogue form
2. He presents his ideas as though they are rising in a dialogue between people v. Clear sense of development: early, middle, late
1. We do know broadly that the dialogues fall into three categories 2.
e. The Socratic problem
i. The principle speak in the dialogues is Socrates
ii. Socrates was a erson who...
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