Socrates: Rhetoric Is Not An Art Or Craft

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I am of the opinion that Socrates position is flawless. However, there are some criticisms regarding his views which I aim to thoroughly discuss and then refute.
1. True versus false arts
Socrates and Polus (Gorgias student) debate about whether rhetoric can be considered an art/craft. Polus states that rhetoric is indeed an art/craft, but Socrates replies, "To tell you the truth, Polus, I don't think it's a craft at all" Socrates continues to argue that rhetoric is not an art/craft, but merely a knack. He is of the opinion that rhetoric is a false art/routine.
I agree with Socrates, rhetoric is not an art/craft. Firstly, allow me to define the difference between an art/craft and flattery/routine. An art is a patterned skill which is directed
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The latter is a skilled rational art while the former is a superficial irrational one. Rhetoric is the routine of oration, as opposed to the art of justice. Rhetoric aims at persuasion, pleasure and belief rather than at instruction, the good and truth. Rhetoric is the Sophistic method of philosophy, Gorgias and Polus are practitioners of this method. Socrates is not too impressed with Sophists. A Sophists is a paid teacher of philosophy and rhetoric who reasons with clever but false arguments. Sophists are skilled at persuasion but have no real knowledge unlike experts on the topics that they discuss. Due to Sophists using the skill of persuasion, they are likely to tell the audience what they want to hear and not what is true. Sophists aim at the merely pleasant rather than the truly good. Therefore, rhetoric is a false art because it gives the impression of knowledge rather than real knowledge on the topic they’re discussing. Rhetoric it is the …show more content…
True essence of power
Callicles states that where the strong exercise their advantages over the weak. He states that the natural man has large appetites and the means to satisfy them, and only the weak praise temperance and justice based on artificial law not natural.
Temperance is the discipline and restraint of one's desires. According to Socrates, temperance represents a crucial factor in the attainment of the good. Within the body, it improves health and abolishes desire, thus increasing the power of its possessor. Within the soul, it combines with justice to create the highest of human virtue. Virtue is good living resulting in the harmony of body and soul. For Socrates (as well as for Plato), virtue is his ultimate goal, and is attained through a proper combination of fitness, temperance, justice, and the other arts.
For Socrates's contemporaries, the rampant view of power is as the ability to rule over others and to satisfy one's own desires. This position is best expressed by Polus (466–69) and Callicles