ABSTRACT

The Gorgias presents us with a mystery and an enigma: Who was Callicles? And, what was Plato trying to accomplish in this dialogue? While searching for the identity of Callicles, we gain a better understanding of Plato's purpose for this dialogue, which is to use justice as a means for staking out the boundaries of four types of rhetoric. This article argues that Plato uses the Gorgias to reveal the deficiencies of sophistic nomos-centered rhetorics and an unjust sophistic phusis-centered rhetoric, opening the door for a “true” rhetoric that he articulates in the Phaedrus and a universal justice based on virtue that he describes in the Republic.

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