Abstract

In this essay I use Socrates's aside to Callicles at Gorgias 481c5–82b1 to argue that love is essential to philosophy on Plato's conception. On my reading, Plato uses the drama of the dialogue to critique the discussion therein against a standard for philosophy that is implicit in Socrates's remarks. Plato suggests that Socrates's exchange with Gorgias is the best of the three, since it best realizes the inseparable goals of pursuing truth and becoming more persuadable by reason. What makes it so is that between Socrates and Gorgias alone does there seem to be a genuine goodwill and love leading to an effective partnership in the social activity that is philosophy.

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