By George Kimball Plochmann
A complete research of “one of the main elusive and refined” of the entire Platonic dialogues. The Gorgias starts with a dialogue of the character and cost of rhetoric and develops into an impassioned argument for the primacy of absolute correct (as expressed through sense of right and wrong) within the legislation of either private and non-private lifestyles. Plochmann and Robinson heavily study this nice discussion within the first two-thirds in their publication, delivering the ultimate 4 chapters to a broader dialogue of its harmony, sweep, and philosophic implications.
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Extra info for A friendly companion to Plato's Gorgias
Anton, Allan Bloom, Robert S. Brumbaugh, Robert D. Cumming, Paul Friedländer, Robert G. Hoerber, Charles E. Kahn, Stanley Rosen, Herman L. Sinaiko, Adele Spitzer, Robert Sternfeld, Eric Voegelin, and Harold Zyskind. There is, however, no good reason to believe that all of them would agree with each other, though family resemblances might be detected in many cases, or that they would countenance what we have maintained in this book. The quoting in a footnote of any author, even when treated favorably, is often a distortion omitting the context, statement of purpose, supporting arguments for what is being quoted, and thus depriving it of its precise meanings.
The dramatic-fictional aspects of the dialogue are concentrated here, since descriptions of town and countryside, of overt action and other visual effects, are faint in the Gorgias; Fourth, the interrelations between all three, interrelations without which any attempt to state the unity of the dialogue, will prove an empty exercise. Answers to questions raised under each of these rubrics are, we think, best found by persistently asking why Plato includes this and excludes that, why he phrases a problem one way rather than another, why a character is made to appear as he does, why the order of statements or questions is so and not otherwise, and other queries of this kind.
No one can hope to notice everything in such an intricate, inexhaustible dialogue; doubtless some of the most vital links have escaped us, or we have put upon them interpretations which other readers would deem unfruitful or unconvincing. But by paying some attention to the trifles, we think we can suggest new philosophic shadings or new artistic accents otherwise thought unworthy of consideration. The Gorgias deserves not only exhaustive discussion but comment upon that very discussion, and if this results in a double focus and a long book, so be it.
A friendly companion to Plato's Gorgias by George Kimball Plochmann