Gorgias Assignment

iWill Rowe
Effective Public Speaking (CMST233)
Lee Ammons
Huntington College
Gorgias Assignment

Here’s a situation. You are representing a company selling a product that you know has a
comparative weakness. Will you make your prospective customer aware of these weaknesses,
even if it lessens the chances you will make the sale and secure your job?  
This particular predicament is just one example of a typical, every-day choice that salesman’s face on whether to “do the right thing” in today’s world of competitive marketing and business.   One would assume that a respectable salesman is obligated to provide their customers with an honest, unbiased overview of their products.   This would, in theory, seem to include outlining every pro and con that the product offered.   Granted, pinpointing all the known flaws on one’s own merchandise while still making an attempt to pitch and sell it to already skeptical customers doesn’t seem very business savvy, especially from a marketing standpoint .   In fact, it doesn’t seem to make any sense whatsoever.   In a work by Plato called Gorgias, the ideology of the art of persuasion and deception over the consumer masses, as well as the morality and virtues of this practice, becomes an in-depth topic.
In Plato’s Socratic dialogue with Gorgias, we are shown differing views between these two philosophers about how rhetorical art and oratory is defined and how it can be applied in certain walks of life.   More specifically, we witness a debate on the ethical and integral views of using the persuasive, rhetorical language in order to actually gain power and influence over the masses.   Initially, this dialogue goes back and forth with Socrates asking specific questions to Gorgias, steadily picking his brain with detailed questions such as “With what class of objects is rhetoric concerned?” and “Why don’t you call the other arts concerned with words rhetorical, if you give this name to an art with words which is...