Gorgias Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Why does Socrates question Gorgias about rhetoric?

Socrates is interested to learn the art of rhetoric, which is what calls for the conversation detailed in Chapter 1. Socrates wishes for Gorgias to explain the art of rhetoric to him and, through his questioning, compels Gorgias to not only describe rhetoric but be an example of a successful rhetorician.

2. Why can the art of rhetoric not impart knowledge, according to Gorgias?

The philosophers discuss that rhetoric is meant as a tool for speech and comprehension. However, rhetoric itself is not laborious or an activity. The philosophers claim that rhetoric cannot impart knowledge because knowledge is only obtained through activity.

3. How does Gorgias see rhetoric as a bridge between art and science?

Rhetoric is referred to as an art itself in the conversation. Rhetoric can function as persuasion and a means of delivering information, just as arts and sciences (such as math, using the language of numbers) do. Rhetoric is "language" and since all arts and sciences use some form of language, their success is based on the comprehensiveness of their language, which would be rhetoric.

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