Gorgias
 

Rhetorical Perspective

 

Nothing exists; if it did exist, we couldn't know it; if we could know it, we couldn't communicate it. 

 

Other Resources

Texts

Gorgias

(Circa 483 - 375 B.C.E.)

 

From: (http://www.rongshuxia.com/channels/zl/sieg/pic/Gorgias.jpg)

 

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.


Works Cited


"Gorgias." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 30 Apr 2006. 8 May

 

         2006. <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gorgias>.