This book traces the development of Plato's analogy between craft and virtue from Euthydemus and Gorgias through the central books of the Republic. It shows that Plato's middle dialogues develop and extend, rather than reject, philosophical positions taken in the early dialogues.
In this article, I argue that, in showing inconsistency of beliefs, Socratic elenchus is showing incompatibility of the desires those beliefs express. This thesis explains Socrates’ claim that, in refuting Callicles, he is also restraining his desires. The beliefs in question are about the best kind of life to lead; such beliefs express the second order desire to lead a life in which certain sorts of first order desires are satisfied. Socrates’ elenchus shows that Callicles is caught between two incompatible (...) second order desires: a desire to lead of life of enormous pleasure and a desire to lead a life in which his love of honor is satisfied. Socrates does not succeed with Callicles because the way out of this dilemma depends on a type of desire not found in the moral psychology of the Gorgias, i.e., a desire whose satisfaction is pleasure unmixed with pain, described in Republic 583c-585e and Philebus 50e-52b. (shrink)
Marina McCoy defends three interrelated claims about the topic mentioned in her title. First, the distinction between philosophy and rhetoric in the dialogues is not as clear as some commentators seem to think. Second, since philosophy as practiced by Socrates includes important rhetorical dimensions, there is no important methodological distinction between philosophy and rhetoric. Third, it is his virtues—and not any particular method—that differentiate Socrates the philosopher from sophists and rhetoricians. McCoy pursues different aspects of her theses through the Apology, (...) Protagoras, Gorgias, Republic, Sophist , and Phaedrus.Her approach coheres with that of a contemporary school of interpretation according to which a proper appreciation of the dramatic setting of each dialogue will show that the content of Socratic conversation is not meant to be a body of substantive philosophical doctrine. Rather, Socrates’ quarry is the souls of his interlocutors. McCoy’s contribution to this line of. (shrink)