Gorgias: The Transnational Politics of Contemporary Native Culture
James H. Nichols Jr. offers a precise yet unusually readable translation of this great Platonic dialogue on rhetoric. The Gorgias presents an intransigent argument that justice is superior to injustice - to the extent that suffering an injustice is preferable to committing an unjust act. The dialogue contains some of Plato's most significant and famous discussions of major political themes, and focuses dramatically and with unrivaled intensity on Socrates as a political thinker and actor.
Nichols's attention to dramatic detail brings the dialogue to life. Plato's striking variety in conversational address (names and various terms of relative warmth and coolness) is carefully reproduced, as is alteration in tone and implication even in the short responses. A general introduction on rhetoric from the Greeks to the present shows the problematic relation of rhetoric to philosophy and politics; states the themes that unite the Gorgias with the Platonic dialogue Phaedrus, also available in a new translation by James H. Nichols Jr.; and outlines interpretive suggestions.
Together with the Phaedrus, the Gorgias reveals both the private and the political rhetoric emphatic in Plato's philosophy, yet often ignored in commentaries on it. Nichols believes that Plato's thought on rhetoric has been largely misunderstood, and he uses his translations of the Gorgias and the Phaedrus as an opportunity to reconstruct the classical position on right relations between thought and public activity.
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