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Plato's Dialogue: The Gorgias, 482-484, The Speech of Callicles.

I find Plato's Dialogue: The Gorgias, 482-484, The Speech of Callicles so confusing. Is there a simpler way to understand the purpose of the dialogue and what it means.

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Let's first give the general purpose of the dialogue:

The concept is that rhetoric is a false science. "Rhetoric" is really here more than just making speeches; it's really about anything (any method) that tries to convince you of something (Think of advertising, political campaigns, etc.).

Plato hates these people, called Sophists (of which Gorgias is one), that teach rhetoric for money. Here, these people are selling the ability to win cases in court, not because their side is right, but because, being masters of persuasion, they can make anything sound right.

Plato, of course (though Socrates, his mouthpiece), cares only about justice and truth as they are in themselves.

So, sections 482-484:
Let me just give you a summary in a way that a beginner can grasp.

Philosophy is the love of truth and wisdom. She is loved for her own sake. Truth is its own good, its own reward. The people who sell the ability to persuade have no idea who she is - they are just whores looking to manipulate others.

Truth "always speaks the same" - Truth never changes. Opinions always do; often with fashion, or when popular people hold to some opinion. Philosophy is supposed to cut through all that and get to the heart of the matter.

Now, there is another issue. Socrates/Plato ...

Solution Summary

Plato's dialogue is examined. The purpose of the dialogue and what it means are determined.

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