Callicles Arguments In Gorgias

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An Analysis of the Effectiveness of Arguments in Gorgias In Plato’s Gorgias, Callicles is attempting the explain how to live the best life to Socrates. Callicles says, “…the man who’ll live correctly ought to allow his own appetites to get as large as possible and not to restrain them. And when they are as large as possible, he ought to be competent to devote himself to them…” (492a). However, not all men are able to live this indulgent lifestyle of fulfilling their pleasures; Callicles also says that the weak majority, those who are unable to satisfy their own pleasures because they lack the courage to fulfill their own, praise temperance and justice because they want to “conceal their impotence” (492a). Since they are incompetent at satisfying…show more content…
This analogy compares the results of having to constantly refill a jar versus having a jar that, once filled, will remain that way. The jar itself represents a soul, and the water in the jar represents the accumulation of pleasure in the soul’s life. So, in this case, the leaky jar represents the insatiability of Callicles’ idea of happiness because a man can never be satisfied nor happy if he allows his appetites to grow indefinitely. Not only does Socrates say that those men who let their appetites grow indefinitely will not be happy, but he says that they will be miserable. This implies that the goal is to have desires satiated, and this will result in the good life. Socrates’ argument is effective because his use of analogy makes an abstract concept easier to understand for the reader. It is now easy to see how letting one’s appetite grow indefinitely would lead to an unsatisfied life of needing to constantly refill a jar. There is still the question regarding the fact of the nature of the process of refilling the jar and if that is pleasurable, as this would start to break down Socrates’
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