Gorgias Leontinsky., Prodik of Keos., Antiphon-sophist., Hippius...

Gorgius of Leontin.

Gorgius (483-380 BC) - a native of Sicily, where, it is said, he listened to Empedocles . As part of the embassy that sent his hometown of Leonti, Gorgias visited Athens and held a speech in the People's Assembly, whose members were very impressed with his oratorical skill. Gorgius traveled a lot, never staying long. For a while he taught in Athens.

In the case of Gorgias, as with many other sophists, one of the sources for us is Plato. In the body of the Platonic works there is a dialogue that bears the name of this famous sophist. Fortunately, the works of Gorgias were also preserved. The text of the treatise "About the non-existent, or About the nature" we have in two versions: one of them came to us in a retelling of the philosopher-skeptic Sextus Empiricus, the other - known as the work of Pseudo-Aristotle "On Melissa, Xenophanes and Gorgias." In addition, we have at our disposal two speeches by Gorgias - "Praise to Elena" and "Palamed's Protection". The last two texts are devoted to the nature of the word: its irresistible strength, before which man can not stand, and the ability to refute any argument (any charge), giving clearer and more convincing arguments.

In Gorgias treatise "On the non-existent, or About the nature" his philosophical position is indicated. Some researchers believe that the goal pursued by the author was purely applied: to demonstrate that any arguments can be refuted, and Gorgias refuses to have any philosophical position. But this is hardly the case. It is likely the opposite: "Praise to Elena" and Protection of Palameda can be regarded as a practical consequence of Gorgias' theoretical statement, expressed by him in the treatise. In addition, the treatise itself may well be considered a practical implementation of those philosophical conclusions that he himself contains.

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Let's turn to Gorgia's basic propositions, noting first that his essay "About the Bearer, or About Nature" was the answer to the poem of Parmenides On Nature & quot ;. So:

1) nothing exists by nature;

2) If something existed, it would be unknowable for a person;

3) If it were knowable, it would not be expressible in the word.

From these statements it follows that the very existence, thought and word

are of different nature.

Prodik of Keos.

Prodik (465-395 BC) was born on. Keos, located in the southern Aegean Sea, near the coast of Attica. He studied at Protagoras. There are fragments of Prodik's texts, apparently related to three of his works: "On Nature", "On the Nature of Man" (some believe that this is the same work) and the "Choirs" (choral - times).

Prodik gained the greatest popularity for what would now be called linguistic studies. He was interested in the question of correctness of names . Discussions on this topic did not leave Platon indifferent either: in the corpus of his works there is a dialogue "Kratil," devoted precisely to the problem of the correctness of the naming of things. Plato repeatedly appeals in his dialogues to Prodik and his art of distinguishing meanings. The main points of Prodik's linguistic theory are:

1) there are no two (or more) words that would have the same meaning, in other words, there are no complete synonyms;

2) no word can have more than one value;

3) the etymology of the word corresponds to its meaning or, at least, does not contradict it.

In the essay "The Choirs" Prodik tells the parable, known as "The Choice of Hercules." The essence of the story is this: the young Hercules meets two women on his way, one of which is Virtue, the other is Vice. The hero faces the choice of whether to follow him for Virtue or for the Vicious. Each, in turn, convinces Hercules of the correctness of his path. In the end, Hercules makes a choice in favor of Virtue. To this choice, Hercules leans in under the influence of arguments appealing to reason, which brings him Virtue. Thus, the only reasonable choice is to choose the path of Virtue, which can lead to a real lasting happiness ( eudaimonia ).


Special attention Antiphon was not honored until the beginning of the XX century, when fragments of his work "Truth" were discovered and published. It became clear that the author of these fragments was an interesting thinker. However, the very person of Antiphon causes controversy, since it is not clear whether Antiphon the Sophist should be identified with Antiphont Ramnunte (480-411 BC) - a politician, a member of the Council of four hundred, who was in power in Athens in 411 to AD The antiphon of Rampuits, described by the historian Thucydides, was known as an orator. Preserved a collection of his speeches. The problem of the two Antiphones emerged back in late Antiquity with the filing of the grammar of Didymus from Alexandria (1st century BC), who observed that the work of Antiphon the "Truth" stylistically differs from his own works On Consent and Policy & quot ;. The lack of stylistic unity seemed suspicious to Didymus, and he assumed that he was dealing with the writings of two different people. Later, due to circumstances, the text "Truths" was lost for many years, and when it was discovered at the beginning of the 20th century, he put it

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researchers at a dead end. Om was different not just in style, but in spirit. In the essay On Consent it is said about the need to follow the law, for there is nothing worse than his absence, whereas the author of the "Truths" rejects the law ( nomos ) in favor of the nature (physis ).

Hippies of Elish.

Hippias (460-399 BC) was not only a sophist, but also a poet, mathematician and historian. His name is the name of two Platonic dialogues - Hippius Lesser and Hyppies greater & quot ;, in addition, it is mentioned in the Protagoras dialog. Only a few fragments of Hippia's works have survived, so it is very difficult to reconstruct his philosophical position. It is known that Hippias was the author of the following works: The Names of Nations, The List of Olympians, and a collection of small texts (literally called Collection), whose themes allowed to assume with a high degree of probability that Hippius was the earliest doxographer . On the basis of the Platonic dialogue, "Hyppies Greater", in which we are talking about the beautiful, we can conclude that Hyppius held to the position according to which be and seem impossible alone without another.

Frasimah of Chalcedon.

Frasimah (459-400 BC) came from the city of Chalcedon, located on the shores of the Bosporus, on the border of Europe and Asia. He was an orator and teacher of rhetoric. The most significant fragment on the basis of which one can judge the views of Frasimach was preserved, apparently, from a work with the supposed name "About the state structure". Despite the paucity of information about him, Frasimah is one of the most famous sophists. The memory of him is immortalized by Plato: Frasimah is the key character of the first book of dialogue "The State", which is devoted to the question of what is justice. It is in the mouth of Frasimach Plato that he puts the thesis that justice is this , which is useful to the strongest.

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