Text full multimedia monochrome

First time here?

Find out more about how The Lecture List works.

Coronavirus situation update

Our lecture organisers may or may not have had time to update their events with cancellation notices. Clearly social gatherings are to be avoided and that includes lectures. STAY AT HOME FOLKS, PLEASE.


Find out what you can do to keep The Lecture List online

Philosophy and Rhetoric: companions or rivals?

A short introduction to the Platonic view of rhetoric, using a short passage from the Gorgias.

Plato's dialogue, the Gorgias, is an examination of the nature of human happiness as it is unfolded in our collective state. In it Socrates clashes with the rhetorician Gorgias over the question of his occupation – does it benefit anyone? Does it contribute to a just and good life? What kind of knowledge is required in order to practice rhetoric? What relation does it have to philosophy? In fact, says Socrates, it may well be likened to a cook who produces delicious sauces with no thought to the health-giving qualities or otherwise of the actual content of the dishes he produces. This is in contrast to the philosopher, who is interested in the substance of our lives rather than ephemeral questions of transient pleasures.

Is this fair? Can we dismiss rhetoric altogether and pursue philosophy alone? Or do both activities have a valid place in the life of human community? We will study an extract from the Gorgias and discuss these and other questions which arise from it.

No previous experience of formal philosophy is required.

Entrance in free, but donations between £3-5 will be welcomed.

A PDF download of the extract we will be reading is available on our website together with further details of this and other Prometheus Trust's activities: www.prometheustrust.co.uk (the PDF is on the "London Monday Evenings" page.)


Miranda Addey | talks | www


Date and Time:

12 December 2016 at 7:30 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Cecil Sharp House
2 Regent’s Park Road

Show map

Organised by:

The Prometheus Trust
See other talks organised by The Prometheus Trust...




Available from:

no need to pre-book

Register to tell a friend about this lecture.


If you would like to comment about this lecture, please register here.


Any ad revenue is entirely reinvested into the Lecture List's operating fund