Plato on the Rhetoric of Philosophers and Sophists

Cambridge University Press, 24.9.2007
Marina McCoy explores Plato's treatment of the rhetoric of philosophers and sophists through a thematic treatment of six different Platonic dialogues, including Apology, Protagoras, Gorgias, Republic, Sophist, and Phaedras. She argues that Plato presents the philosopher and the sophist as difficult to distinguish, insofar as both use rhetoric as part of their arguments. Plato does not present philosophy as rhetoric-free, but rather shows that rhetoric is an integral part of philosophy. However, the philosopher and the sophist are distinguished by the philosopher's love of the forms as the ultimate objects of desire. It is this love of the forms that informs the philosopher's rhetoric, which he uses to lead his partner to better understand his deepest desires. McCoy's work is of interest to philosophers, classicists, and communications specialists alike in its careful yet comprehensive treatment of philosophy, sophistry, and rhetoric as portrayed through the drama of the dialogues.

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1 Introduction
2 Elements of Gorgianic Rhetoric and the Forensic Genre in Platos Apology
3 The Rhetoric of Socratic Questioning in the Protagoras
4 The Competition between Philosophy and Rhetoric in the Gorgias
5 The Dialectical Development of the Philosopher and Sophist in the Republic
6 Philosophers Sophists and Strangers in the Sophist
7 Love and Rhetoric in Platos Phaedrus

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Sivu 46 - You are wrong, sir, if you think that a man who is any good at all should take into account the risk of life or death; he should look to this only in his actions, whether what he does is right or wrong, whether he is acting like a good or a bad man.
Sivu 54 - For this offering of their lives made in common by them all they each of them individually received that renown which never grows old, and for a sepulchre, not so much that in which their bones have been deposited, but that noblest of shrines wherein their glory is laid up to be eternally remembered upon every occasion on which deed or story shall fall for its commemoration.
Sivu 31 - A man who really fights for justice must lead a private, not a public, life if he is to survive for even a short time.
Sivu 27 - That they were not ashamed to be immediately proved wrong by the facts, when I show myself not to be an accomplished speaker at all, that I thought was most shameless on their part — unless indeed they call an accomplished speaker the man who speaks the truth. If they mean that, I would agree that I am an orator, but not after their manner, for indeed, as I say, practically nothing с they said was true.
Sivu 38 - Hades will have escaped from those who call themselves jurymen here, and will find those true jurymen who are said to sit in judgment there, Minos and Rhadamanthus and Aeacus and Triptolemus and the other demigods who have been upright in their own life, would that be a poor kind of change? Again, what would one of you give to keep company with Orpheus and Musaeus, Hesiod and Homer? I am willing to die many times if that is true. It would be...
Sivu 27 - I do not know, men of Athens, how my accusers affected you; as for me, I was almost carried away in spite of myself, so persuasively did they speak. And yet, hardly anything of what they said is true. Of the many lies they told, one in particular surprised me, namely that you should be careful not to be deceived Ь by an accomplished speaker like me.
Sivu 37 - Meletus, 26 and I do not think anyone else will. Either I do not corrupt the young or, if I do, it is unwillingly, and you are lying in either case. Now if I corrupt them unwillingly, the law does not require you to bring people to court for such unwilling wrongdoings, but to...
Sivu 95 - ... fact having great power is, as you agree, something good? POLUS: He cannot. SOCRATES: So, what I was saying is true, when I said that it is possible for a man who does in his city what he sees fit not to have great power, nor to be doing what he wants. POLUS: Really, Socrates! As if you wouldn't welcome being in a position to do what you see fit in the city, rather than not! As if you wouldn't be envious whenever you'd see anyone putting to death some person he saw fit, or confiscating his property...
Sivu 43 - ... inferior things. I shall treat in this way anyone I happen to meet, young and old, citizen and stranger, and more so the citizens because you are more kindred to me. Be sure that this is what the god orders me to do, and I think there is no greater blessing for the city than my service to the god. For I go around doing nothing but persuading both young and old among you not to care for your...

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