In the Gorgias, Socrates claims that oratory does not require any real knowledge and is merely a form of flattery that appeals to the crowd. Yet the accusation of being a "crowd pleaser" is issued to both sides of the debate: on several counts, Callicles blames Socrates of accomplishing the sort of popular effect that is characteristic of oratory. What role does the silent crowd play in this dialogue, and how does it inform the central questions of the text - what is the best way of life, and who is to judge it?
key words: Plato, Gorgias, crowd, tragedy, demegoros, tragic chorus
- Tragedy and Political Philosophy Conference, Czech Academy of Sciences - University of Hadrec Králové, Prague, April 2010 (presented in absentia)
- Graduate Workshop in Political Theory - Harvard University Department of Government, November 2010
- Princeton Graduate Conference in Political Theory - Princeton University, April 2012