Gorgias

Gorgias (gôrˈjēəs) [key], c.485–c.380 B.C., Greek Sophist. From his native city, Leontini, Sicily, he was sent as an ambassador to Athens, where he settled to teach and practice rhetoric. Gorgias pursued the negative implications of the Eleatic school and asserted: (1) Nothing exists; (2) If anything does exist, it cannot be known; (3) If it can be known, the knowledge of it cannot be communicated. Objective truth being thus impossible, there remains only the art of the Sophists, persuasion. Such arguments undermined the foundations of polytheism and led to open challenges of current moral standards. His challenge to speculative thought stimulated a more sophisticated approach to the problems of philosophy. A dialogue of Plato's bears his name.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Gorgias from Fact Monster:

  • Emmaus, in the Bible - Emmaus Emmaus , in the Bible. 1. Place, outside Jerusalem, where Cleopas and another disciple met ...
  • Sophists - Sophists Sophists , originally, itinerant teachers in Greece (5th cent. B.C.) who provided ...
  • skepticism - skepticism skepticism [Gr.,=to reflect], philosophic position holding that the possibility of ...
  • Plato: Works and Philosophy - Works and Philosophy Plato was a superb writer, and his works are part of the world's great ...
  • Encyclopedia: Philosophy: Biographies - Encyclopeadia articles concerning Philosophy: Biographies.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Philosophy: Biographies