Philosophy- Plato's Dialogue

Topics: Philosophy, Mind, Belief Pages: 4 (1542 words) Published: March 1, 2011
Plato’s dialogue: The Gorgias, 482e-484e: The Speech of Callicles

When I first began to read this passage I was a little confused at the message Callicles was sending to reader and to the philosophers of that time. As I continue to study philosophy I get the sense that most philosophers question the same thing for reason of being. The question of “why” and “what makes…” is the common theme with most things I’ve come across in this course. To read a passage that was written which portrays the negative prospective of philosophy was a bit refreshing to be honest and to say the least. I agreed with most everything Callicles wrote and will reflect upon the passage through the questions provided on this assignment. I’ll begin by answering the first question. In the first paragraph, Callicles introduces the distinction made between nature vs. convention. I think what was meant by stating, “If a man speaks on the basis of natural instinct, you philosophers slyly question him on the basis of convention; if he replies on the basis of convention, you ask about nature,” is that philosophers spend so much time questioning the reason man base their opinions and where they come from, whether they base their opinions with true and honest conviction or rather on what they believe wants to be heard by the group or person with which is being spoken to. It makes sense that such statement would be made, and has really become a natural question that people feel, but in more cases than not keep to themselves. Depending on certain situations, it could be best to speak on the basis of convention rather than nature. Such as is done in political campaigns and individual politicians themselves, for example.

When thinking of how to answer the question, “Are nature and custom antagonistic to each other?” I can only feel that the answer can only be, depends. It is my opinion that man has a natural bias towards nature over custom. However, there will be instances where man may need...
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