Plato’s Sort

Socrates: You, Gorgias, like myself, have had great experience of argument, and you must have observed, I think, that they do not always end in mutual edification, or in the definition by either party of the subjects which they are discussing; but disagreements are apt to arise.  

Somebody says that another has not spoken truly or clearly; and then they get into a passion and begin to quarrel, both parties conceiving that their opponents are arguing from personal feeling only and jealousy of themselves, not from any interest in the question at issue. . . 

Now if you are one of my sort, I should like to cross-examine you, but if not I will let you alone. And what is my sort?. . . I am one of those who are very willing to be refuted if I say anything which is not true, and very willing to refute any one else who says what is not true, and quite as ready to be refuted as to refute.

I hold that this is the greater gain of the two, just as the gain is greater of being cured of a very great evil than of curing another. For I imagine that there is no evil which a man can endure so great as an erroneous opinion about the matters of which we are speaking and if you claim to be one of my sort, let us have the discussion out, but if you would rather have done, no matter-let us make an end of it.

(Gorgias) 

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