Rebecca L. Hunt Stickiest Point #1 1. THE CLAIM: “The man who’ll live correctly ought to allow his own appetites to get as large as possible and not restrain them. ” –Callicles, Gorgias 491e-492a. 2. CALLICLES’ ARGUMENT: Callicles claims that one should fill his appetite as much as possible. Socrates’ view on a happy life requires self mastery which means that your appetites and emotions are controlled and you mind manifests order. Also, Socrates’ ideal happy person would not do what is morally wrong.
Callicles argues that if you live a life like Socrates wants, you are living like a corpse or a stone. Callicles believes that “living pleasantly consists in this: having as much as possible flow in” (494b). To truly be happy, one needs to be constantly filling his appetite to the maximum capacity. This is not possible for many. The people who cannot fulfill their appetites are apparently embarrassed and “their own lack of courage leads them to praise self-control and justice” (492b).
According to Callicles, the rules created by the weak “enslave” the more naturally gifted men. For the ones born into power, Callicles believes that they should defiantly feel shameful that they let the talk of the people and the laws that rule them stop him from filling his appetite. 3. CRITICISM: Callicles is wrong to think that one should fill his appetite constantly and to the fullest. This may seem like a pleasant life but it is defiantly not a fulfilling one.
You need more goals and ambitions that are not just centered on what you want. . One could argue that everybody does not have appetites that are bad and selfish, but Callicles is defiantly referring to the self-indulgent ones. Callicles theory is similar to Darwin’s “survival of the fittest”. Both believe that the strongest creatures will rule and take over the weaker ones Callicles is also wrong in saying that the strong should do whatever they feel and the weak need to quit holding them back with rules.
He believes that the “weak” create these rules because they are jealous and embarrassed at their own incompetence. It is not that the weak are jealous; they just want order in their cities. If the strong had the ability to do whatever they feel then many people would suffer. Why would a city want a majority of its citizens feel inferior to just a handful of, what I would call, bullies? This includes people born into power. Just because they are rulers does not give them the right to not have any kind of ethics or morals.
They should actually do the opposite of what Callicles says and set an example for their people and lead good, self-disciplined lives. Smart people should have more of a right to rule the people, but only if they are trying to work for the greater good. They should not have ultimate power but I would rather a room full of smart, morally good men rule a city then selfish men constantly trying to always fulfill their own appetites.