Moral Scepticism: Thraymachus and Callicles


These characters from Plato’s dialogues The Republic and Gorgias respectively are often thought of as arch moral sceptics.  They both challenge conventional morality as nothing more than an illusion created by the weak masses to control those who, by their nature, would have an advantage over everybody else.  Needless to say, Socrates ends up showing them the error of their ways… but do they have a point?

Full texts of the Republic and Gorgias are available online.

Click here for the Stanford Encyclopedia entry on Callicles and Thrasymachus.


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