The Sophistic Cross-Examination of Callicles in the Gorgias

Ancient Philosophy 15 (1):17-43 (1995)
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Socrates' cross-examination of Callicles in the 'Gorgias' has traditionally been viewed as a paradigm of the Socratic method. I argue that, when he cross examines Callicles, Socrates behaves out of character. In fact, he acts like a Sophist and violates the very principles of persuasion that he advocates in the 'Gorgias'. I offer an explanation of Socrates' temporary transformation into a Sophist, and suggest that his role-reversal reinforces Plato's representation of Socrates as the model of the virtuous philosopher.
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