Free Speech in Plato’s Gorgias

18 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2016

See all articles by Alexei Gloukhov

Alexei Gloukhov

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Date Written: February 11, 2016

Abstract

As this new reading of Plato’s Gorgias shows, four distinct positions with regard to freedom of speech are introduced in this classical text on the relations between philosophy and rhetoric: two realistic and two logical. The realism of rhetoric poses the key political problem of incommensurability between freedom and justice. The realism of philosophy is able to solve this problem, but only through a mediatory differentiation of two purely logical stands, which might have found direct counterparts in the two dominant forms of political philosophy in the 20th century. One of them is political liberalism, which corresponds to the ‘geometric’ way of argumentation in ‘Gorgias’ and inevitably passes into a theory of normative justice. Another is the mainstream ‘continental’ philosophy, which corresponds to the ‘erotic’ way of argumentation in Gorgias and explores the possibilities of the positive freedom.

Keywords: Free speech, freedom, justice, liberalism, rhetoric, philosophy, politics, logic, myth, analytic-continental divide

JEL Classification: Z

Suggested Citation

Gloukhov, Alexei, Free Speech in Plato’s Gorgias (February 11, 2016). Higher School of Economics Research Paper No. WP BRP 121/HUM/2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2731150 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2731150

Alexei Gloukhov (Contact Author)

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

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