PHL 204-07

*** QUIZ TODAY ***

Why committing an injustice is worse than suffering one

  1. committing an injustice is more shameful than suffering one (true by law)
  2. if X is more shameful than Y, then either
    • X is more painful than Y
    • X is worse than Y

    (true by nature)

  3. committing an injustice is not more painful than suffering one
  4. so, committing an injustice is worse than suffering one

sophist = orator

Gorgias, pp. 52-55
what is the distinction between something being true by convention/law and being true by nature?
Explain distinction, explain how Callicles uses it to refute the argument

Callicles challenges Socrates’ shifting use of terminology
The difference between law/nature seems to be the difference between “common sense” and “legal interpretation”

Callicles sees govt as a limitation by the many of the few, contrary to the natural order

Convention/Law
most people (the many, thetes) are weak and inferior
they devise rules that serve to protect their interests
both internally and externally enforced (internally via shaming, externally via prison, punishmt, gods)

Nature
The few are superior/better than others
since they are better, they deserve by nature a larger share & should take what they want without regard to others
shameful in this case is to let others have more; to fail to take more

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