As a scholar he devoted his attention almost entirely to Plato; and his Phaedrus (1868) and Gorgias (1871), with especially valuable introductions, still remain the standard English editions of these two dialogues.
The Greek ecclesiastes means one who takes part in the deliberations of an assembly (ecclesia), a debater or speaker in an assembly (Plato, Gorgias, 452 E), and this is the general sense of the Hebrew word.
Still more unequivocal was the sceptical nihilism expressed by Gorgias: - (I) nothing exists; (2) if anything existed, it would be unknowable; (3) if anything existed and were knowable, the knowledge of it could not be communicated.
The Apology and Crito, the Phaedo, Phaedrus and Gorgias of Plato, as well as speeches of Demosthenes and Aeschines, with the Oeconomics, Ethics and Politics of Aristotle, had already been translated by Leonardo Bruni (d.
ALCIDAMAS, of Elaea, in Aeolis, Greek sophist and rhetorician, flourished in the 4th century B.C. He was the pupil and successor of Gorgias and taught at Athens at the same time as Isocrates, whose rival and opponent he was.
Still more marked was his departure from Plato as regards rhetoric. Plato in the Gorgias, (501 A) had contended that rhetoric is not an art but an empirical practice (rpt/37) KaL Epirecpia); Aristotle in the Gryllus (Fragm.
49) through Plato, who in the Gorgias (470 E) says that the gentleman is happy, and in the Republic (489 E) imputes to him the love of truth essential to philosophy.
The most famous are the Olympiacus of Gorgias, the Olympiacus of Lysias, and the Panegyricus and Panathenaicus (neither of them, however, actually delivered) of Isocrates.
Gorgias, the second with the later school, e.g.
Gorgias of Leontini had a still more direct influence on Greek culture, as father of the technical schools of rhetoric throughout Greece.
Her envoy was Gorgias; his peculiar style of rhetoric was now first heard in old Greece (Diod.
Similarly, Gorgias, in a work On Nature, or on the Nonent, maintained" (a) that nothing is, (b) that, if anything is, it cannot be known, (c) that, if anything is and can be known, it cannot be expressed in speech; and the summaries which have been preserved by Sextus Empiricus (Adv.
5, 6), show that, in defending these propositions, Gorgias availed himself of the arguments which Zeno had used to discredit the popular belief in the existence of the Many; in other words, that Gorgias turned the destructive logic of Zeno against the constructive ontology of Parmenides, thereby not only reducing Eleaticism to nothingness, but also, until such time as a better logic than that of Zeno should be provided, precluding all philosophical inquiry whatsoever.
Thus, whereas the representatives of the three successions had continued to regard themselves as philosophers or seekers after truth, Protagoras and Gorgias, plainly acknowledging their defeat, withdrew from the ungrateful struggle.
Gorgias was already advanced in years and rich in honours when, in 427, he visited Athens as the head of an embassy sent to solicit aid against Syracuse.
That he should do so was only natural, since his position as a teacher of rhetoric was already secure when Protagoras made his first appearance in the character of a sophist; and, as Protagoras, Prodicus and the rest of the sophists of culture offered a comprehensive education, of which oratory formed only a part, whilst Gorgias made no pretence of teaching " civic excellence " (Plato, Meno, 95 C), and found a substitute for philosophy, not in literature generally, but in the professional study of rhetoric alone, it would have been convenient if the distinction between sophistry and rhetoric had been maintained.
But though, as will be seen hereafter, these two sorts of education were sometimes distinguished, Gorgias and those who succeeded him as teachers of rhetoric, such as Thrasymachus of Chalcedon and Polus of Agrigentum, were commonly called by the title which Protagoras had assumed and brought into familiar use.
Rhetorical sophistry, as taught by Gorgias with special reference to the requirements of the law courts, led by an easy transition to political sophistry.
He had already reached the height of his fame when Plato opened a rival school at the Academy, and pointedly attacked him in the Gorgias, the Plaaedrus and the Republic. Thenceforward, there was a perpetual controversy between the rhetorician and the philosopher, and the struggle of educational systems continued until, in the next generation, the philosophers were left in possession of the field.
But, although Protagoras and Gorgias had examined the teaching of their predecessors so far as to satisfy themselves of its futility and to draw the sceptical inference, their study of the great problem of the day was preliminary to their sophistry rather than a part of it; and, as the overthrow of philosophy was complete and the attractions of sophistry were all-powerful, the question " What is knowledge?
Gorgias said plainly that he did not teach " virtue."
Overlooking the differences which separated the humanists from the eristics, and both of these from the rhetoricians, and taking no account of Socrates, whom they regarded as a philosopher, they forgot the services which Protagoras and Prodicus, Gorgias and Isocrates had rendered to education and to literature, and included the whole profession in an indiscriminate and contemptuous censure.
Neither were they united by a common educational method, the end and the instruments of education being diversely conceived by Protagoras, Gorgias and Isocrates, to say nothing of the wider differences which separate these three from the eristics, and all the four normal types from the abnormal type represented by Socrates.
Various as were the phases through which sophistry passed between the middle of the 5th century and the middle of the 4th, the sophists - Socrates himself being no exception - had in their declared antagonism to philosophy a common characteristic; and, if in the interval, philosophical speculation being temporarily suspended, scepticism ceased for the time to be peculiar, at the outset, when Protagoras and Gorgias broke with the physicists, and in the sequel, when Plato raised the cry of " back to Parmenides," this common characteristic was distinctive.
But the question still remains - Was the education provided by Protagoras, by Gorgias, by Isocrates, by the eristics and by Socrates, good, bad or indifferent?
Excellent as a statement of the aim and method of Isocrates, and tolerable as a statement of those of Gorgias, these phrases are inexact if applied to Protagoras, who, making " civic virtue " his aim, regarded statesmanship and administration as parts of " civic virtue ", and consequently assigned to oratory no more than a subordinate place in his programme, while to the eristics - whose existence is attested not only by Plato, but also by Isocrates and Aristotle - and to Socrates - whom Grote himself accounts a sophist - the description is plainly and palpably inappropriate.
It would seem, then, that, while he regards rhetoric as the function of normal sophistry, taking indifferently as his types Protagoras, Gorgias and Isocrates, he accounts Euthydemus and Dionysodorus (together with Socrates) as sophists, but as sophists of an abnormal sort, who may therefore be neglected.
But more than this: whereas in the nomenclature of Plato's contemporaries Protagoras, Gorgias, Socrates, Dionysodorus and Isocrates were all of them sophists, Plato himself, in his careful investigation summarized above, limits the meaning of the term so that it shall include the humanists and the eristics only.
However contemptuous in his portraiture of Hippias and Dionysodorus, however severe in his polemic against Isocrates, Plato regards Protagoras with admiration and Gorgias with respect.
The result is a selflimiting dialectic. This higher dialectic is a logic. It is no accident that the first of the philosophical sophists, Gorgias, on the one hand, is Eleatic in his affinities, and on the other raises in the characteristic formula of his intellectual nihilism' issues which are as much logical and epistemological as ontological.
The nihilism of Gorgias from the Eleatic point of view of bare identity, and the speechlessness of Cratylus from the Heraclitean ground of absolute difference, are alike disowned.
It was mainly the eloquence of Gorgias of Leontini which led to the abortive Athenian expedition of 427.
This doubt found expression in the reasoned scepticism of Gorgias, and produced the famous proposition of Protagoras, that human apprehension is the only standard of existence.
Gorgias and Protagoras are only representatives of what was really a universal tendency to abandon dogmatic theory and take refuge in practical matters, and especially, as was natural in the Greek city-state, in the civic relations of the citizen.
After apparently maintaining (Protagoras) that pleasure is the good, he passes first to the opposite extreme, and denies it (Phaedo, Gorgias) to be a good at all.
In quick succession he overthrew the Syrian generals Apollonius, Seron and Gorgias, and after the regent Lysias had shared the same fate at his hands he restored the Temple worship (165).
GORGIAS (c. 483-375 B.C.), Greek sophist and rhetorician, was a native of Leontini in Sicily.
Gorgias is the central figure in the Platonic dialogue Gorgias.
He was supposed to judge the souls of Asiatics, Aeacus those of Europeans, while Minos had the casting vote (Plato, Gorgias, 424A).
Protagoras, Phaedrus, Gorgias, Phaedo; (2) the second,, marked by dialectic subtlety, i.e.