Plato on the Rhetoric of Philosophers and Sophists
Marina McCoy explores Plato's treatment of the rhetoric of philosophers and sophists through a thematic treatment of six different Platonic dialogues, including Apology, Protagoras, Gorgias, Republic, Sophist, and Phaedras. She argues that Plato presents the philosopher and the sophist as difficult to distinguish, insofar as both use rhetoric as part of their arguments. Plato does not present philosophy as rhetoric-free, but rather shows that rhetoric is an integral part of philosophy. However, the philosopher and the sophist are distinguished by the philosopher's love of the forms as the ultimate objects of desire. It is this love of the forms that informs the philosopher's rhetoric, which he uses to lead his partner to better understand his deepest desires. McCoy's work is of interest to philosophers, classicists, and communications specialists alike in its careful yet comprehensive treatment of philosophy, sophistry, and rhetoric as portrayed through the drama of the dialogues.