Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Socrates Vs. Thrasymachus

In the debate between Socrates and Thrasymachus, I find Socrates much more convincing than Thrasymachus. Based on Aristotle’s idea, the ethos of a speaker is convincing when he or she demonstrates phronesis, arête, and eunoia. While Thrasymachus cuts into the conversation between Polemarchus and Socrates, Socrates tries to avoid direct confrontation by softening his words and being polite to show his grace and poise; this is a sign of eunoia, goodwill to the audience. On the other hand, Thrasymachus’ attempt to get into the conversation is“like a wild beast, seeking to devour us”. (p11) Though he is speaking to Socrates, Thrasymachus does not show any signs of eunoia, or goodwill to the audience, by his rude, offensive, and bitter way. Socrates also demonstrates phronesis in his debate with Thrasymachus of whether “justice is the interest of the stronger”. While Thrasymachus begins the debate that “justice is the interest of the stronger” Socrates tries to justify that “justice is the injury quite as much as the interest of the stronger” (p14) by asking a series of rhetorical questions which eventually lead to his conclusion. Socrates’ style of debate clearly demonstrates phronesis, showing common sense and practical wisdom.

2 Comments:

Blogger Lamar said...

What about arete? Pathos? Logos? Also, I believe that there is some truth to the statement that "justice is the interest of the stronger." For example, justice was imposed upon the Nazis after WWII at the Nuremberg trials by the "stronger," or winners of the war (USA, USSR, and Great Britain).

12:54 AM  
Blogger Matt Giani said...

I believe that certain occasions, like the one you mentioned with the Nazis, may be examples of when the interest of the stronger turns out to be justice, but I don't necessarily believe that's what justice is. If the "stronger" powers of the war decidedly to pay Germany handsomely for "giving it a nice shot," I definitely wouldn't believe that justice was served.

Also, when I look at certain cultures around the world that do things like cutting off someone's hand for stealing a loaf of bread (that's so Aladdin) I don't believe it's an example of true justice, even if the stronger power (the government) believes it is in their interest.

7:24 AM  

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