Title

Can Virtue Be Bought?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2004

Abstract

"Rhetoric, as "seeming" practical wisdom, sets three practical tasks. Some ways of moving from equality to a single and good decision are matters of speakers making themselves heard, understood, and believed. Some are matters of audiences sorting out which things are worth listening to, and figuring out how to respond. Some, finally, are questions of institutional design. While teachers of rhetoric, including Protagoras and Aristotle, for the most part only worried about the first dimension, the drama of the Protagoras offers some hints about the other two tasks. The four dramatic moments are occasions for reflection on how eloquence can track practical wisdom, allowing reason to rule."