Anales Del Seminario de Historia de la Filosofía 36 (1):11-28 (2019)
AbstractThe purpose of this article is to offer a reconstruction of the moral theory defended by Callicles in Plato’s Gorgias, aided by other contemporary texts that contribute to explain and refine such a theory. The first step of this reconstruction is to show that Callicles offers a perspectivist theory of moral judgements, according to which moral judgements can be issued from two radically distinct perspectives, the contractual and the natural one. The second step is to show that Callicles makes use of a peculiar conception of nature that allows him to claim that certain natural rights and privileges stemming from the natural perspective of valuation must override those rights stemming from the contractual perspective. The resulting theory, as well as being worthy of philosophical interest, does not appear to be vulnerable to most of the objections advanced by the dominant interpretations, nor does it entail the implausible sort of hedonism that Plato attributes to Callicles in this dialogue.
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