De philosophis et rhetoribus inter se aemulantibus

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Wydawnictwo Poznańskiego Towarzystwa Przyjaciół Nauk

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The rivalry between philosophers and rhetoricians


From the time of Isocrates, who first made fun of some philosophers, and Plato, who in his Gorgias despised the orators and denied rhetoric being an art, up to the end of antiquity there was a vehement fight between rhetoricians and philosophers as educators of young people. But for a long time in this dispute we only hear the voice of philosophy, since rhetoric whose utility seemed beyond doubt not thought it necessary to defend herself. Cicero was the first of all writers we know who justified rhetoric and blamed Socrates for having separated the arts of speaking and thinking. Also in imperial time rhetoricians had to apologize, for then we first hear about men who deserted from rhetoric to philosophy.


Inde ab eo tempore, quo Isocrates rhetor philosophos quosdam, quod iuuentuti minus utiles essent, uituperauit, Plato contra in Gorgia oratores derisit, rhetoricam artem esse negauit, usque ad ultimam antiquitatis aetatem durauit certamen quoddam inter harum disciplinarum magistros. In qua aemulatione diu rhetores ut superiores uidemus a philosophis impugnatos esse, nempe quod de rhetoricae utilitate nemo dubitaret. Cicero autem primus eorum quos nouerimus respondit, qui in libris De oratore Socratem accusauit quod dicendi sentiendique artes segregauisset. Etiam Caesarea aetate, rhetores defendere sese cogebantur. Tum enim primum audimus de eis qui a rhetorica ad philosophiam transfugerint.



philosophy, rhetoric, education, Plato, Isocrates, Cicero


Symbolae Philologorum Posnaniensium, 2012, nr XXII/2, s. 125-128




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Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Biblioteka Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego