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Three podcasters and two listeners join to read Plato's fabulous dialogue, which is discussed in PEL Episode 69. Listening to this will be MIGHTY good preparation for listening to that discussion.
We are freely sharing the first half of this unabridged work of profound genius, in which Socrates (Mark) and his pal Chaerephon (Eileen), at the behest of Callicles (Dylan), call on the famous orator/teacher Gorgias (Seth) to ask him what this oratory crap is all about.
After first trouncing Gorgias's student Polus (Evan), Socrates then eviscerates Gorgias himself, arguing that oratory is just a worthless form of flattery, like pastry baking (?!?!), feeding people what they want to hear while doing nothing to improve them. As part one concludes, Callicles steps up and gives Socrates a smackdown, arguing that orators, who argue the affairs of the state, have power, and hence happiness, and even though we may give lip service to the idea that exerting power unjustly is shameful, the law of nature says that more power is always better, and screw justice. And screw philosophy while you're at it, which is best left to undergrads to rant about in their dorm rooms and grow out of to go on and do real work.
To listen to part two, where Socrates responds to this in an epic confrontation that you'll never forget so long as you live, and even afterwards as your soul is given a quiz on this dialogue to judge your final resting place, you'll need to sign up to be a PEL Citizen at partiallyexaminedlife.com, which will enable you not only to continue your Gorgias orgasmic experience, but also listen a bevy of other audio products, and read a heap of exclusive member content, and to participate in mind-expanding Not School discussions.
K. W. B. Hayes says
This is the most enjoyable read of Gorgias! Plato has never made me laugh as he does now. Seth’s —err.. Gorgias’ —- sinister laugh I think was the tipping point of excellence
Seth Paskin says
I must say that prepping for this role, being the Method actor I am, was extremely challenging.
K. B. W. says
I can hardly imagine your difficulties in pretending NOT to be in love with Socrates’ arguments! 😀
Perhaps this kind work could be archived as another version at http://librivox.org/ (if it hasn’t happened yet).
Frtiz Donaro says
Great job! Bravo. PEL should do more of these readings I say. Not since Orson Welles performed War of the Worlds was there such an inspired reading of…
Well it wasn’t that good. I dig Orson Welles.
I did feel that since you’re all males and women have a harder time in philosophy due to still prevalent sexist and patriarchal attitudes of faculty and students -and at an institutional level in the universities- when doing readings of a dialog a rewrite is in order. Some characters should be made female. This will give a positive message to young women that they have a voice and seat at the table. We aren’t in Greece anymore. It’s the duty of males to include females to rectify the great historical imbalance whenever and wherever possible. Also, when it comes to playing a sophist I find it entirely appropriate to give women these roles since by their very nature they’re, generally speaking, better manipulators and bullshitters and don’t so much mind using language with a total disregard to truth, when it suits their purposes.
Andie David says
I thought the philosophy (or was it rhetoric ?) readings of Gorgias were fantastic ! Please continue doing such extra episodes, absolutelly brilliant.
Cannot wait for part 2 !
This must have also been a powerful experience for yourselves – there is something so much more engaging by acting out the dialogue than “dry reading it”. Makes Plato exhilarating fun and pedagogical. Wish we did this in school !
Andie David says
What other dialogues are in the workings for the future ?
What is appropriate for this other than Plato ? Plato seems to be the best format in terms of alternate voices and dynamic flow.
Sean Fournier says
I’ve been listening to the preview of episodes from episode one. Since December. This episode made me subscribe.