Kevin M. Kambo, Socratic Rhetoric: Elenchus, Myth and Self-Disclosure in Plato’s Gorgias

Abstract · This paper argues that Socrates’ performance in the Gorgias is an example of noble rhetoric, particularly as evidenced in Socrates’ use of elenchus as a mode of psychic purification to lead Gorgias and Polus to accept certain moral claims, and his use of myth to sketch the moral psychology justifying those claims. Elenchus and myth, therefore, are interpreted as complementary means towards the unified objective of moral education.

Keywords · Myth, Elenchus, Moral Psychology, Plato, Gorgias.