History of Philosophies
What is the craft Gorgias practises? Is it really a craft or something else? What is the difference between a craft and a knack?
Gorgias is a person who teaches oratory with the means of a dialogue. The craft Gorgias practices is not only a craft, but a knack as it seldom has any kind of account of the nature of those things it applies to by which it applies. The difference between the craft and the knack is that the former pursues the good parts while the later pursues pleasure. The Socrates completely knows that the philosophy is all about art and rhetoric that are nothing more than knacks.
What are the crafts that care for the body? Which ones ‘flatter’ and which ones actually improve the body?
For Socrates rhetoric in itself is flattery. For it to be used for good purposes it has to be blended with philosophy in order to take care of it. They believe that morality is not mistaken in rhetoric and in the absence of philosophy rhetoric is used for selfish ambitions.
How does Socrates define politics? If there is ‘deceptive’ craft that make the body look better but not ‘be’ better, is there an equivalent distinction in the case of politics?
Socrates made up the philosophy from his teachings, which he collected while travelling and asking government bodies and those in the streets to ascertain political and ethical truths. He was against tyranny and democracy as a whole and represents a part of the political decay.
Polus and Socrates argue about the advantages to be gained from the practise they each advocate. What does Polus think is good about being an orator or a tyrant? Does the tyrant want power for its own sake or for what it makes possible? What is ‘the absurd position’ Polus thinks Socrates is trying to maintain?
Socrates argues that orators have the smallest power. However, Polus defends orators’ position that is to behave like tyrants. They kill and chase any one they want. Socrates, hence, feels that there are no disagreements. He confirms that tyrants and orators usually do what they want. Polus supports the idea that one should do only those things for which an individual has power.
What about the famous ‘art of persuasion’? What might it be a valuable thing to have? Does Socrates consider it good, bad, or morally indifferent (‘in-between’)? How can it be misused?
The art of persuasion was made use of in the field of politics and legal matters. Rhetorians promoted themselves to be teachers because of the skills that they possessed. The Gorgias came to Athens for the intellectual and cultural providences. Hence, it is a very good thing to have the skills as the Socrates cherished them, although it can be misused when used against one another.
What is Callicles’ opinion of ‘philosophy’?
The two main exemplars for Plato are calicles and thrasymachus. This applies to all philosophy of challenges that concern any morality. Justice is denounced as the same object of self exaltation should always be left to those people who profess wisdom.
For Socrates, which is better, living by ‘rules’ or living by ‘nature’? In what way is intelligence superior to strength? Is there an opposition between law and nature? Is Callicles consistent in the way he uses these terms?
Living by nature is better than living by rules. Happiness depends on oneself, hence should be central in any life. Happiness is also based on the cultivation of virtues in our lives. For Socrates unlimited self-knowing is not the strength. Therefore, the intelligence is superior. Callicles states that law directs nature. He is not consistent as he makes a different stand every time.