While reading Plato’s Gorgias, there was a distinction made by Socrates about what rhetoricians were. He argued that Polus and Gorgias actually the least powerful in the community. This was an interesting claim that I did not understand at first.
Socrates first debated whether it was a knack or expertise that rhetoricians After deciding it was only a knack, he went on to further explain to Polus why his point was correct. The rhetoricians along with dictators only do what is best for them and never what they actually want to do. This is because of the lack of knowledge these individuals possess which then results in them seeing the apparent good. Public opinions blind rhetoricians into going after what they think is pleasant. However, what they see as pleasant makes them powerless to do what they actually want. As a result, rhetoricians and dictators are vicious people because they do not pursue the virtuous activities in life. If they are not virtuous, than these individuals should have no power within the community. Only those that participate in virtuous activities and see the good should have power.
After all of his explanations, I agree with Socrates’ claims. If one does not possess the knowledge on a particular subject, they can never have expertise in it. Additionally, if you do not see the good, there is no possible way for you to be a virtuous individual. So with everything that we have discussed in class about virtue, I can easily say that the rhetoricians are definitely the least powerful in the community.