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GORGIAS Apol de socrates y defensa de palamedes.pdf

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Department of the Classics, Harvard University The Relation of the Apology of Socrates to Gorgias' Defense of Palamedes and Plato's Critique of Gorgianic Rhetoric Author(s): James A. Coulter Source: Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, Vol. 68 (1964), pp. 269-303 Published by: Department of the Classics, Harvard University Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/310807 Accessed: 31/07/2009 14:10 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, a
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  Department of the Classics, Harvard University The Relation of the Apology of Socrates to Gorgias' Defense of Palamedes and Plato's Critiqueof Gorgianic RhetoricAuthor(s): James A. CoulterSource: Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, Vol. 68 (1964), pp. 269-303Published by: Department of the Classics, Harvard UniversityStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/310807 Accessed: 31/07/2009 14:10 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available athttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unlessyou have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and youmay use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use.Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained athttp://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=dchu.Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printedpage of such transmission.JSTOR is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1995 to build trusted digital archives for scholarship. We work with thescholarly community to preserve their work and the materials they rely upon, and to build a common research platform thatpromotes the discovery and use of these resources. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.  Department of the Classics, Harvard University  is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extendaccess to  Harvard Studies in Classical Philology. http://www.jstor.org  THE RELATION OF THE APOLOGY OF SOCRATES TO GORGIAS' DEFENSE OF PALAMEDES AND PLATO'S CRITIQUE OF GORGIANIC RHETORIC BY JAMES . COULTER TELt'av SO FopyT av T Edaro(pev EEOfv, ot rrpo T(CJV OA7'r6)v T& iELKdTa EtOV CS' Ttl7rTE wiaAAXov . . (Phaedrus 267a) Prj7opos 8e ('Per7T) T&A6Xj AEyELV. (Apology i8a) THE existence of clear verbal parallels discernible in Gorgias' Defense of Palamedes and Plato's Apology of Socrates raises a prob- lem which has occasioned only little scholarly notice.1 What is more important, it has received no really satisfactory interpretation. True, a number of scholars have recognized the imprint, both in matters of phrasing and rhetorical topoi, of Gorgias' Palamedes on the Apology of Socrates.2 Yet, in spite of the curious implications of this presumed Platonic debt to Gorgias (curious at least in the light of Plato's attitude toward Gorgias and his rhetoric), only three scholars, Joseph Morr, Anton-Hermann Chroust, and Guido Calogero, have sought an explana- tion for these similarities, which are, I submit, far too precise, and, what is more important, far too pointed, in their implications to be reasonably accounted for by reference to the conventions of dicanic oratory. In a succinct and important study, Joseph Morr3 pointed to the verbal echoes in Plato, and concluded that they are conscious allusions to the Gorgianic work; by reminding the reader, Morr argued, of an earlier account of a wise man unjustly condemned, Plato endeavored to set Socrates against the larger backdrop of myth, and to enlarge thereby the meaning of his death. Essentially the same view was held by A. H. Chroust in a later study; 4 this scholar made a special contribution by suggesting that the conception of Palamedes as the archetype of the dishonored philosopher was already current and accessible to Plato.5 For Calogero 6 the parallels suggested that Gorgias was a philosophical  mentor of Socrates, and the source of the famous doctrine, nemo sua sponte peccat. A Platonic adaptation of the Palamedes, if it can be demonstrated, necessarily involves certain larger implications, which I shall consider at the conclusion of the present study. To this extent, Morr and Chroust were right when they sought some sort of general explanation for the similarities they had observed in the two texts. Nevertheless, Calogero, although his conclusions seem to me unacceptable, was, methodologi- cally at least, on more secure ground when he attempted to relate the parallel elements in the two works to some problem with which the two men had, or could have had, a common intellectual concern. It is this method which I propose to follow. For I shall try to show that the Apology embodies a rejection in detail of the particular assumptions upon which the Palamedes was built. In fact, the polemic relationship between the two works is so intimate that one may justly call the Apology, at least on one level of its complex meaning, an Anti-Palamedes. Now, the proposition that the Apology represents, at least on one level of its meaning, an effort to subject one of the works of a leading Sophist to a fundamental critique by means of an adaptation with polemic intention is not in itself surprising in view of what we are otherwise familiar with in Plato's literary treatment of his contemporaries and immediate predecessors.7 Moreover, the work we are discussing, apart from the notion of formal imitation, is marked by clear contrasts which Plato has Socrates draw between his own activities and those of the Sophists and rhetors. The passage which most explicitly focuses this antithesis is i9d-2oc, where Socrates unambiguously distinguishes himself from those teachers who make a claim to wisdom, and who impart this commodity for a fee. There is an ironic implication throughout that the claims to wisdom of Gorgias, Prodicus, and Hippias are more than a little naive and unfounded. In another passage (3Id-e) Socrates declares that he purposely avoided an active role in politics because such participation would have involved a serious compromise of his beliefs; the necessary implication is that those who are active in politics continue successful and unscathed only because they gratify the whims of the demos. Among these, the rhetors are certainly to be numbered. Moreover, it seems reasonable to assume that the rhetors are not the only ones alluded to here, since the Sophists8 also took an active part in Greek political life. So unambiguous a position on the part of Socrates toward the acti- vities of the Sophists and rhetors, and what we otherwise know of James A. Coulter 270  The Apology of Socrates and Gorgias' Palamedes Plato's estimation of the value of Gorgianic rhetoric, of which the Palamedes, as I shall show, is a major exposition, suggest the necessity of rejecting out of hand any hypothesis that Plato used the Palamedes for the purpose of imparting dignity and significance to Socrates' death. So sympathetic a use of the Gorgianic work would in fact imply a kind of approbation - a notion which we cannot accept without also assuming a striking lack either of consistency or integrity in Plato's philosophical position. Morr was perhaps aware of this disquieting im- plication of his thesis, since he took pains to emphasize what is perhaps the only favorable explicit estimate (Meno 76c) of Gorgias' intellectual accomplishments in the Platonic corpus - a complimentary account of a theory of color which the Leontine philosopher had worked out.9 Nevertheless, despite the fair assumption of the inappropriateness of a sympathetic Platonic reworking of the Palamedes, it is still true that the Apology of Socrates contains a good number of passages which exhibit surprising and apparently more than accidental similarities to passages in the Palamedes. It must first be noted, however, that many of the examples recorded by the scholars whom I mention above are far from convincing, since they can easily be explained by the fact that the two defenses are quite similar in their general character. Among other things, both are delivered by defendants with a reputation for wisdom in reply to accusations which are, in part, attributable to envy. Accordingly, we should not be surprised if we read that both men are called (rofoi (Pal. 25 and Ap. I8b) and evepyerca (Pal. 30 and Ap. 36c), or that the accusation arises from qd0vos (Pal. 3 and Ap. 28a). How else, one asks, could Plato have expressed these notions? Such criticisms aside, there are still a number of verbal correspondences so striking, whether considered separately or, more impressively, as a group, that no student of the Apology can, in my opinion, afford to ignore them unless he is also willing to forgo the understanding of an important dimension of the work's meaning. Before discussing what I consider to be the significance of these verbal similarities, however, I should like first to catalogue the passages in the two works which seem to me most important in this respect. Furthermore, in order to empha- size the contextual importance which these passages appear often to have, I shall incorporate them into a short analysis of the Palamedes and give, in each case, the parallel passage from the Apology for the purpose of comparison. The structure of the Palamedes is fortunately straightforward and perspicuous and may easily be represented in summary outline: 27I

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Jul 23, 2017
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