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Plato's Ethics$
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Terence Irwin

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780195086454

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195086457.001.0001

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The Argument of The Gorgias

The Argument of The Gorgias

(p.95) 7 The Argument of The Gorgias
Plato's Ethics

Terence Irwin (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The purpose of chapter 7 is to outline the role played by the Gorgias in the development of Plato’s ethical views. To start with, the characteristics and the peculiarities of rhetoric are evaluated. Then, it is presented how Socrates, although he attacks Callicles’ hedonism, maintains an instrumentalist conception according to which virtues are means for achieving happiness. In conclusion, Socrates’ adaptive doctrine of happiness, which appears to imply that happiness consists in the satisfaction of one’s desires, is discussed.

Keywords:   Happiness, Plato, Callicles, Desires, Gorgias, Hedonism, Pleasure, Rhetoric

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