Arts which achieve their object through silence

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


I analyse a limited section in the conversation between Socrates and Gorgias in Plato's Gorgias (449e1-451d8). The significance of this section has been overlooked in the scholarly literature; I shall argue that the passage draws attention to Gorgias' confused treatment of as both the instrumentent and the materia of rhetoric. Whether Gorgias is aware of the distinction or not, he is driven by Socrates defacto to look for a materia of rhetoric that is not to do with, since Socrates increasingly treats effectively as the instrumentum of rhetoric. Socrates manipulates Gorgias through a combination of content and form, using and in a variety of cases with a number of prepositions, from and eventually, to distance speaking and speeches themselves from the materia of rhetoric.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-444
Number of pages14
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2017


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