Award Date

12-2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Political Science

Department

Political Science

First Committee Member

Mark J. Lutz, Chair

Second Committee Member

David Fott

Third Committee Member

Ted Jelen

Graduate Faculty Representative

Paul Schollmeier

Number of Pages

92

Abstract

The interweaving of rhetoric, the greatest evil, and the true art of politics create the unity of the dialogue. Whereas Gorgianic rhetoric is pleasure seeking flattery which inspires belief without knowledge, noble rhetoric is refutative, inspiring the acknowledgment of falsity or ignorance. Moreover, it is self-refutation, meaning that the person being persuaded arrives at the conclusion of his ignorance by his own realization; the noble rhetor does not connect all the dots for them. The greatest evil is to have a false opinion about justice. A just penalty for suffering from the greatest evil is to face selfrefutation in hopes that this will inspire a desire to seek true knowledge through philosophical inquiry. The true art of politics is a personal, individual art, coordinating justice and legislation. Justice teaches what the best care for the soul is and legislation regulates behavior to conform action with the demands of justice, being guided by selfdiscipline and moderation. Each participant in the dialogue suffers to a degree from the greatest evil, which Socrates addresses by conversing rhetorically with them to arouse an understanding of what rhetoric is, what their false opinions are, and how that relates to living the best life.

Keywords

Gorgias; Justice; Plato; Politics; Rhetoric

Disciplines

Ancient Philosophy | Philosophy | Political Science | Political Theory | Rhetoric

Language

English


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