Presentation on theme: "Plato and Rhetoric BC (81yrs.)"— Presentation transcript:
1 Plato and Rhetoric 427-346 BC (81yrs.) Lifeson of wealthy & influential Athenian parentsbegan his philosophical career as a student of Socrateswhen Socrates died, Plato traveled to Egypt and Italy, studied with students of Pythagoras, and spent several years advising the ruling family of Syracuse.Eventually, returned to Athens & established his own school of philosophy at the Academy.1
2 PlatoFor students, Plato tried to pass on the heritage of a Socratic style of thinkingThe written dialogues on which his enduring reputation rests also serve both of these aims.Primary Focus: Attack Sophists
3 Plato on Rhetoric Three works on Rhetoric: The Apology (we’re not reading)The Gorgias--attack on Sophistic practice of rhetoricThe Phaedrus--development of a true rhetoric
4 The Gorgias (385 BC) An early work Major ideas implied or stated Dialectic nature of truth “remembered” in dialogue among expertsRhetoric is pre-selected communication in order to defend opinions
5 The Gorgias Attacking Rhetoric Three rounds of speechesFirst round: Gorgias and SocratesRhetoric’s nature and usesDefinition--is rhetoric a true art?Second round: Polus and SocratesRhetoric is just a knack for creating persuasive speeches that lack foundation in justice/truthThird round: Challicles and SocratesPursuit of power without knowledge of justice perpetuates injustice
6 The Gorgias Continued Topics Theme The basis of justice What is the nature of rhetoric?Does rhetoric by its very nature tend to mislead?What happens to a society when persuasion is a basis for law and justice?ThemeThe basis of justiceDoxa (mere public opinion) vs Episteme (true knowledge)
7 Socrates/Plato & Gorgias Round One Socrates/Plato: What is the art or techne (knowledge) rhetoric offers? (a question)Gorgias: Rhetoric is concerned with words, persuasive words.Socrates/Plato: Not a definition, because all disciplines use persuasion.Episteme (true knowledge) vs pistis (mere opinion).
8 Socrates/Plato & Gorgias Round One Continued Justice involves episteme. Justice is a lofty, time consuming topic. Public is ignorant.The rhetorician, then, is not a teacher of law courts and other public gatherings as to what is right or wrong, but merely a creator of beliefs; for evidently he could never instruct so large a gathering in so short a time.
9 Socrates/Plato & Polus Round Two Socrates vs Polus (the colt)Polus: “Rhetoric is the greatest power in the country.”Plato: ComparisonsThe arts vs sham arts
10 Socrates/Plato & Polus Round Two: True and Sham Arts The Arts of HealthBody SoulMaintain: gymnastics legislationRestore: medicine justiceThe Sham Arts of HealthMaintain: make-up sophisticRestore: cookery rhetoric
11 Socrates/Plato & Callicles Round Three Callicles: Natural Justice or the rule of the intelligent over the baser.Machiavellian approach to power--gained without pursuit of or attention to justice.
12 Major Claims in Gorgias Sophistic rhetoric is misleading--designed to convince audience they’re dealing with truth when they’re really perpetuating opinionRejection of transient notion of truth (time, justice and juries)rhetoric seeks persuasion while philosophy seeks truth
13 The Phaedrus (367 BC) Twenty years after the Gorgias deals with the "nature (phusis)" of the soul”Three Major Parts separated by interludes
14 The Phaedrus Continued Content: Socrates in conversation with a young sophist studentIntellectually and physically attractiveLove: “divine madness” a “trance entered by poets”The Soul has three parts
15 The Phaedrus Continued A techne of rhetoricA true or just rhetoric
16 Phaedrus ConPart One:The soulless speeches: Lysias' speech and Socrates' 1st speechThe definition of loveIts effects on the beloved
17 Phaedrus Con Part Two: Socrates' Second Speech: The speech on the soul nature of the soul and behavior "in heaven”1.1. The soul as principle and the image of the winged chariot1.2. Divine souls and their journey toward "what really is”1.3. Human souls and their wandering within bodies
18 Part Two con Socrates' Second Speech: The speech on the soul idea of beauty and its effects on embodied human souls2.1. Role of "ideas" in human life and privilege of beauty2.2. Effects of beauty on man's soul2.3. Consequences depending on which god the soul followed
19 Part Two con Socrates' Second Speech: The speech on the soul behavior of loving and loved souls here on earth3.1. Behavior of the lover3.2. Behavior of the loved one3.3. Styles of life that may result and conclusion regarding Lysias
20 The three parts (Charioteer) Loves wisdom The Phaedrus & the SoulThe three parts (Charioteer)Loves wisdomLoves nobility and honorLoves appetite or lusts
21 Phaedrus Part Three Socrates' Third Speech: Dialogue on Rhetoric From false rhetoric to true dialecticThe dialectician and the rhetoricianFrom false dialectic to true rhetoric
22 The Phaedrus & Rhetoric Rhetoric therefore is the art of influencing soulsPsychagogia “leading souls”Know “the truth” firstAdapting to audience’s soul is the art of rhetoric--soul of love, soul of honor, soul of lustJustice is realized when the lower submits to lover of wisdom.
23 The Phaedrus (Comments/Criticisms) The relationship of rhetoric to truthdiscover? or propagate? (mere advocacy)Create the truth?Rhetoric and Dialectic both can produce evilListen for soul--Remembering?Is this tradition or God?
24 The Phaedrus (Comments/Criticisms) Kennedy p. 58 “Plato’s is an impractical rhetoric, How can we know everyone's soul?Yet, we can know our soul “that which is most personal is also most general”Plato starts with ontology or being, thus soul talk is remembering or recalling (reincarnation)