- What does Socrates mean by suffering just things (476e-477b)? cf. Hebrews 12:6
- How are speech and justice connected?
- What does our justification have to do with words? (consider Genesis 1-4 & John 1:1
- Why does it disgust Callicles that Socrates speaks the same way about the same things?
- Why does it disgust Callicles that Socrates draws examples and analogies from the simple and humble things of everyday life?
- To what extent do words serve us, to what extent do we serve the Word?
Friendship & War
- What does Jesus, the Suffering Servant, tell us about victory?
- What is the difference between self-confidence and confidence in the logos? How does one disposition better express dependence upon God as creator and savior?
- How is dialogue different than rhetoric? Does Ephesians 6:12 suggest one is better than the other?
- Can we always be victorious in speech? Should we desire victory…over what or who?
- Why does the dialogue end with a story about hell?
Rhetoric & Logic
- In what sense is rhetoric about nothing?
- In what sense is it about words?
- Rhetoric is described as a phantom. How does Gorgias’s role in this dialogue (and in the Meno) portray this dramatically?
- What do stories have to do with persuasion?
- What does beauty (kalos) have to do with speech?
- Why might it be fair to say that rhetoric is about nothing?
- How is Gorgias’s understanding of rhetoric different than Aristotle’s (or Cicero’s)
- What formal logical distinctions do Polus or Callicles fail to make?
- Which informal logical fallacies can you find? (ad hominem; ad baculum; tu quoque; willed ignorance; double standard, two wrongs make a right; Bandwagon or ad populum; etc.).
- Why is Socrates final story not merely an appeal to force (ad baculum)?
- Is it an appeal to traditional wisdom
- Is that a problem?
- Does Christ use persuasive speech? Does he use rhetoric?
- Aristotle says that the three proofs or demonstrations available to rhetoric are: Logos, Ethos and Pathos:
- How does Socrates use these? How does He embody these?
- How does Jesus use these? How does he embody these?
Telos & Nature
- What is the role of telos in the dialogue?
- How does it help us understand good speech?
- How does Socrates big analogy (463a) help us understand justice, rhetoric, and their relationship ?
- How do our bodies have a telos and how does that help us care for them?
- What is the telos of the soul (i.e., the whole person)?
- How does the picture of eating help us understand the ridiculous nature of wanting to have as much as you want of something (493d-495d)?
- How does the difference between pleasure and the good help us? How does it suggest we train ourselves for godliness?
- How does the concept of telos help us understand the role of pleasure?
- How does pleasure help us recognize the telos of a thing?
- How is telos a guide for speaking?
- Does this help us understand why Callicles is disgusted with Socrates for alway saying the same things? Or for speaking about mundane things such as cobblers and eating?
- Does the truth need gussying up?
- When we talk of our faith should we use our own words or the bible’s?
- How might the following scriptures challenge you to think about speech or the Gorgias?
- “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37)
- “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.” (Matthew 13:52)
- Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (2nd Timothy 2:15)…Does this remind you of the Priests, Priestesses, and Poets in Meno 81a? What is the purpose of this?
- For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
- My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power (1st Corinthians 2:4)
- How is Paul different than Gorgias when he says: I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. (1st Corinthians 9:19-23)? Does this undermine Paul’s credibility?
- Why might being persuaded by smooth but shallow speech lead to a crisis of faith?
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