Nothing exists; if it did exist, we couldn't know it; if we could know it, we couldn't communicate it.
(Circa 483 - 375 B.C.E.)
Contributions to Rhetoric
Gorgias is perhaps the sophist who drew the most fire from the Athenian philosophers Plato and Aristotle. In particular, they were critical of his use of rhetoric to argue against widely held truth, such as the abject reality of existence.
In his treatise "On negation," Gorgias becomes the first to express the solipsistic perspective that nothing is truly knowable, even existence. His arguments are still relevant to the work of modern rhetoricians and philosophers. An example of this is his belief that "...because human beings are only able to think about things and cannot think the actual things themselves, as soon as something real is identified by a human it no longer exists in reality" (Bruce McComiskey as qtd. in "Gorgias") which anticipates the Baudrillardian ideas on Simulation.
"Gorgias." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 30 Apr 2006. 8 May
Page last updated on May 31, 2008 by Nightfly