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3.95  ·  Rating details ·  8,819 ratings  ·  272 reviews
Taking the form of a dialogue between Socrates, Gorgias, Polus and Callicles, GORGIAS debates perennial questions about the nature of government and those who aspire to public office.
Are high moral standards essential or should we give our preference to the pragmatist who gets things done or negotiates successfully? Should individuals be motivated by a desire for personal
Paperback, 208 pages
Published January 29th 2004 by Penguin Classics (first published -380)
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3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,819 ratings  ·  272 reviews

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Ahmad Sharabiani
Γοργίας = Gorgias (dialogue), Plato, Walter Hamilton (Translator), Chris Emlyn-Jones (Commentary)
Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1960=1339, In 149 Pages
Gorgias (Greek: Γοργίας) is a Socratic dialogue written by Plato around 380 BC. The dialogue depicts a conversation between Socrates and a small group of sophists (and other guests) at a dinner gathering. In the Gorgias, Socrates argues that philosophy is an art, whereas rhetoric is a skill based on mere experience. To Socrates, most rhetoric is in
Riku Sayuj
A Starker Dialogue

Gorgias is very similar in structure, content, focus and argument with the Republic. In fact, it comes across almost a half-formed version of it, and scholars argue that it is in many ways like an early sketch for Republic. But unlike the Republic, which forays into metaphysics and utopias, the argument in Gorgias is anchored very much in this world, and, again in contrast to Republic where everyone seems persuaded in the end, Gorgias leaves us in the dark as to whether Socrate
Luís C.
What is rhetoric?

Yes, the dialogue will turn around this issue, but not only. I literally loved it. The reflections are vivid, the text is dramatic, and one is really taken in the story. One imagines to be in the place of Callicles and to debate or to be in the place of Socrates. We also speak here of the beautiful and the ugly, the just and the unjust, the injustice, the power in many forms and also the soul. Contrary to what one might think, the choice of subjects is very varied.
In terms of in
Roy Lotz
… for philosophy, Socrates, if pursued in moderation and at the proper age, is an elegant accomplishment, but too much philosophy is the ruin of human life.

Gorgias is easily one of Plato’s best stand-alone dialogues. Indeed, as others have mentioned, it often reads like a germinal version of the Republic, so closely does it track the same themes. A transitional dialogue, the early know-nothing Socrates of unanswered questions is already gone; instead we get Socrates espousing some of Plato’s k
Mar 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
Well, if one was to sum up, it would be hard to go past Plato’s own summary:

“And of all that has been said, nothing remains unshaken but the saying, that to do injustice is more to be avoided than to suffer injustice, and that the reality and not the appearance of virtue is to be followed above all things, as well in public as in private life; and that when any one has been wrong in anything, he is to be chastised, and that the next best thing to a man being just is that he should become just,
Paul Christensen
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: philosophy
Men do bad when they do what they merely think best, rather than what they most deeply desire.

That seems to be the central point of this long dialogue.

The age-old question is: how to get men to follow their true Will (i.e. Self, rather than ego).

Does the dialogue answer it?

The answer it gives appears to be: Engage in the combat of life, live as well as you can, and then, after death, you will attain the Islands of the Blessed, and not the realm of the wretched, Tartarus.

But that doesn’t answ
We should devote all our own and our community's energies towards ensuring the presence of justice and self-discipline, and so guaranteeing happiness.

So Socrates wanted to make Athens great again and along the way gave the pundits and consultants the what for. His argument is measured and allows the three stooges to defeat their own assertions in fits of bumbling exasperation. The virtues of work and health are explored with nary a word about the lamp above the Golden Door. This notion of modera
Oct 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a masterpiece. It includes a critical text, and a line-by-line philological commentary. But even the reader without Greek will learn an enormous amount about Plato and related topics by reading it alongside a translation -- just skip all the entries dealing with purely philological matters.

It is often said that the best commentary on Aristotle is Aristotle. Hence, important commentaries on Aristotle spend most of their time quoting (in Greek) other passages from Aristotle. The same

An excellent example of philosophy justifying itself.

Everybody has heard the whole cranky, rather arrogant and patronizing remark made when someone who doesn't read very much or doesn't read for pleasure or instruction feels like scoffing a bit:

"Why are you reading this boring old stuff? Philosophy's good when you're younger, and you don't know anything, but once you become a real adult you should just let that stuff go..."

It's interesting that Socrates calls Gorgias out for basically maki
Michael Finocchiaro
What I recall about Gorgias - again from my sophomore university philosophy class - was that there was a lengthy discussion of orators and how they are able to dupe audiences - even folks more technical than the orator him/herself. That sounds eerily relevant right now given that 1.7M people voted against the Commander and Thief who in 2012 criticised the very electoral college to which he owes his election. His campaign promises were all smoke and mirrors as Gorgias delightfully admits to in hi ...more
Melika Khoshnezhad
Dec 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
ادم فكر ميكنه از دو سه هزار سال پيش تا حالا با وجود اين همه اتفاقايي كه توي همه ي جنبه هاي زندگي ادم ها افتاده بايد طبيعت شون هم تغيير كرده باشه ولي مثل اينكه اين طور نيست و تمدن واقعا تاثيري روي ذات ادم ها نداره. گورگياس و مي خوندم و فكر مي كردم چقدر تعداد سوفيست هايي كه دور و بر خودم مي بينم زياده، چه برسه به اينكه تقريبا تمام ادم هاي بزرگي كه در راس هستند هم اگه سوفيست نبودن اونجا نبودن. ادم هايي كه مي تونن كاري كنن كه با كلمه هاي قشنگ زشت ترين دروغ به نظر مردم قشنگ ترين حقيقت ممكن به نظر بيا ...more
David Sarkies
Aug 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Philosophers & Christians
Recommended to David by: University
Shelves: philosophy
Plato on the virtuous life
7 August 2011 - Athens

It is difficult to put a date of composition to such a text, though internal comments can assist us with determining when it was written. While I do not consider myself an expert on Plato, I would consider this text to be one of his earlier writings as he seems to be recording an earlier conversation as opposed to using Socrates to be a mouthpiece for his own philosophy. A lot have been written on Plato's dialogues, which tend to be philosophical
From the Introduction by Chris Emlyn-Jones:

p. xxvii - "For Plato's Socrates, oratory is not an art, since, by his own admission, Gorgias does not aim to produce knowledge of right and wrong, but only to persuade - to produce conviction. Instead of aiming at making people better (he cannot, because his art does not include knowledge of right and wrong), he panders to their desires, like a confectioner tempting children. If you engage in pandering you do not have to know what people really need; a
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of Plato's more interesting dialogues, if only because in this case the dialogue breaks down. Callicles just cannot seem to accept Socrates's notion that it is better to have evil done to oneself than to commit evil. He agrees with the questions which are put to him, but then he keeps going back to the notion that hedonism is really preferable to morality.

Socrates even looks forward to his own trial and death. At one point, he says:
You've already told me often enough that anyone who
Alp Turgut
Her ne kadar zaman aşımına uğramış bir sonuca bağlansa da Platon'un "Gorgias Ya Da Retorik Üstüne" eseri iyi ile kötünün ne olduğunu derin bir şekilde inceleyen, bunu yaparken de sanatın ne olduğunu açıklamaya çalışarak okuyucunun ufkunu açmayı başaran bir kitap. Sanatı daha çok politikanın vazgeçilmez aracı retorikle yani sözle etkileme sanatı üzerinden açıklamaya çalışan kitabın günümüzde bile hala devam eden sanat tartışmalarına ön ayak olduğu bir gerçek. Buradan kitabın politikaya da el attı ...more
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think the most interesting idea explored in this book is Socrates' contention that it is better to be wronged by others than to do wrong to others.
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you need a good dialogue about rhetoric, morality, duty and philosophy this is it. If The Republic was your jam, don’t miss this prequel!
Summary notes:

◉ Any art (or practice) that's done merely for the sake of pleasure is a bad art (knack). A good one (craft) is done for the sake of goodness. In other words, a craft improves (think, a dietitian), while a knack only pleases (think, a chef). (Socrates uses rhetoric, a practice which incorporates the art of persuasion into lawmaking, to make this point.)

◉ It is better to suffer wrongdoing than to do wrong oneself. (Controversial statement.)

◉ Virtue is knowing what's good for you. (E
Cassandra Kay Silva
May 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I throw my token in with Callicles when he said
"By the gods, Chaerephon, I too have been present at many discussions, but I don't believe that any has ever given me so much pleasure as this. If you like to go on talking all day, you are doing me a favor".

I simply can't get enough of these dialogues! I know there are flaws in them, I know that sometimes as (especially in the one on oratory) the protagonist (Socrates) gets all the words in edgewise and our dear antagonists do not make a fun enoug
Nov 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gorgias is another Sophist (after Protagoras) with who Socrates interacts along with Callicles. The dialogue is interesting in its premise: Plato essentially says that morality is greatly tied with afterlife - a reward for being 'good' in this life. This is essentially the root of the argument or what Socrates tries to qualify it as one while Callicles comes after him viciously.

While Protagoras retires from the argument (which goes nowhere), Gorgias simply doesn't participate. Gorgias being the
Dunya Buzidi
أنا أفضل أن أستخدم قيثارة غير متوافقة الاوتار وكلها نشاز، أو أن أكون رئيساً لفرقة مغنين غير منتظمين، أو أن أجد نفسي غير متفق ومعارض لجميع الناس، عن أن أكون مختلفاً مع نفسي وحدها ومعارضاً لها.
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Che dire? E' grandioso!
Mi è venuto leggendo, da subito, un parallelo profanissimo, perdonatemi, tra i retori bollati da Platone e, un esempio tra tanti, i vari avvocaticchi di Berlusconi che ci vogliono far credere che Gesù è morto di freddo... (Lui che era il padrone della legna!), e a volte ci riescono. Per non parlare dei "politici" e della classe politica nostrana (senza far nomi, per carità!) che sarebbero da accostare in parallelo a Pericle, Temistocle, Cimone, Milziade, fustigati sempre
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Μη μπερδεύεστε, το ένα αστεράκι είναι μπόνους για τις παραπομπές στην ηθική και τον εσχατολογικό μύθο. Τρία ήθελα να του βάλω.
Bob Nichols
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
Socrates goes though a mind-numbing series of overly-long questions about some issues of philosophical import. While in the Protagoras Socrates complains about long-winded statements, he states in this dialogue that a four sentence response by Polus was “a lengthy exposition.” Unlike Polus, who Socrates treats unfairly, Socrates meets his intellectual match with Callicles. Callicles is not bullied into simplistic yes or no answers to questions and to a logic that he finds difficult to follow. Ca ...more
Too old to rate. Reading this in a yellowed library book, with edges of the pages flaking off and falling into my lap as I read, Gorgias made a strong argument, more unintentionally than intentionally, for the uselessness of rhetoric. Time has turned Plato's wisdom into despotism and Socrates' humility into a shield to hide his philosophy's flaws behind. Does Plato still offer anything to teach us today, not merely as history but as genuine philosophy? A lot of what he says are certainly good po ...more
Duy Đoàn
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Greek edition with commentaries by E. R. Dodds is the must-have for any student of Plato who would like to take the dialogue to the sheer extreme, even though you are just a dilettante of the Attic Greek language.
Sep 21, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Ben hakikaten sevmiyorum bu Platon'u ya. Gorgias'ı tekrar okuyunca tekrar farkettim. Şimdi kitap elimde değil, zaten sağlıklı analizler yapacak halim ve iştiyakım da yok ama özetle şöyle söyleyebilirim: Platon, Sokrates'in tartışmayı sanki son derece sistematik ve kullandığı kavramların her birini açık seçik tanımlayarak yürüttüğü gibi bir izlenim vermeye çalışıyor ve fakat aslında durum hiç de öyle değil.

Platon, Sokrates'in muhataplarını kendilerini bir şey sanan avanaklar gibi gösterip duruyor
Aug 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
I read this twenty years ago and participated in my first weekend retreat sponsored by the Basic Program of Liberal Education of The University of Chicago. It was an exciting weekend as we sat up past midnight discussing Plato's arguments for education and the power of the sophists represented by Gorgias. As part of the weekend we watched the film, Educating Rita, and it has become one of my favorites always bringing memories of that weekend and Plato's Gorgias.
The familiar saying of Socrates is
Jun 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Gorgias is structured in three sections, each section consists of a dialectic argument in dramatic form. The main focus is rhetoric and its uses. What is rhetoric? Is the purpose of rhetoric to win an argument or get to the 'truth'?

Historical context: The 5th century saw the spread of Sophistry and the professional use of rhetoric. Law courts were public occasions, Sophists went around giving lessons in law court rhetoric with an end to instructing others on how to get power and hold onto it. R
Aug 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, 2010
I feel the need to point out that while my ISBN matches, my book only has 149 pages (as opposed to the supposed 224, according to goodreads). I dunno what I'm missing out on, but as far as I can tell my book contains all its parts.

This book makes a lot of complex arguments, and at times I found it hard to follow. There were several occasions where I had to read passages and even whole pages over again because I got lost in the arguments. I think the instances where Plato chooses to have Socrates
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Politics: Gorgias 1 6 Oct 21, 2013 10:14AM  
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(Greek: Πλάτων) (Arabic: أفلاطون) (Alternate Spelling: Platon, Platón, Platone)
Plato is a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western p
“If it were necessary either to do wrong or to suffer it, I should choose to suffer rather than do it.” 21 likes
“for philosophy, Socrates, if pursued in moderation and at the proper age, is an elegant accomplishment, but too much philosophy is the ruin of human life.” 8 likes
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