Gorgias Chapter Abstracts for Teachers

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Chapter I (447-457)

• Socrates, Gorgias, and Polus meet because Socrates wishes to learn the art of rhetoric from Gorgias.

• Socrates questions Gorgias about rhetoric to draw from him both explanation and example of rhetoric.

• Gorgias explains that rhetoric is intended to speak and comprehend but it cannot impart knowledge because there is no manual labor involved.

• The philosophers discuss how rhetoric is used in the arts and sciences and how rhetoric can benefit humanity and society by giving politicians the ability of persuasion.

• Gorgias and Socrates discuss that there can be false or true belief but not false or true knowledge

• Gorgias explains rhetoric involves only belief without instruction; in persuasion, one is not teaching but changing opinion.

• Gorgias explains that the power of rhetoric influences everything because of its aid to persuasion.

• Gorgias stresses that the power of persuasion should only be used for good not evil...

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