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Gorgias (dialogue)

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Gorgias is an important Socratic dialogue of the Greek philosopher Plato in which Gorgias the rhetorician, specializing in persuasion, is confronted with the philosopher Socrates, using dissuasion or refutation. The theme of the dialogue is the law of the strongest, and justice.

The art of rhetoric in ancient Athens was highly regarded and was considered a necessary part of education for the politician. Moreover, it was important to be able to defend oneself in court as well. The rhetoricians presented themselves as teachers in this essential skill and they were well paid for it. Some of them, like Gorgias were foreigners from outside Athens, attracted by the intellectual and cultural reputation of the city. In this dialogue, Socrates attacks them openly and questions the value of their craft of persuasion from a moral viewpoint.