The Gorgias

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  1. According to Callicles, who invents conventions/moral rules and why?
    Callicles believes moral rules, or conventional laws, are created by the weaker masses to control the strong and prevent them from reaching their full potential and power.
  2. According to Socrates, what is the difference between a 'knack' and 'expertise'?
    Socrates defines a knack, such as cookery, as a practice or activity learnt through habit that aims to provide pleasure with no consideration of what is good. An expertise however, such as medicine, is a considered thoughtful process, its end results may be explained and understood and it aims above all at the good.
  3. Does Socrates think it is worse to do wrong or to suffer wrong? Outline his reasons why.
    Socrates believes it to be more contemptible to do wrong, as it is worse for the individual to do wrong than to suffer wrong. This is because doing wrong is evidence of a disorganised or 'unhealthy' mind lacking in self discipline, and as you do not let a sick man satisfy his every desire, a sick mind should also be prevented from doing so. To let one do so is to allow it to progress further from the good.
  4. Outline the "Leaky Jar" argument.
    The "Leaky Jar" argument is a metaphor used by Socrates to object to Callicles' statement that a happy life is one full of pleasure, where every desire is satisfied.
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The Gorgias

The Gorgias by Plato - starring Socrates and Callicles
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