Socrates Versus Gorgias

Contributor: Brian Anthony. Lesson ID: 12606

Are you familiar with the terms "fake news" and "propaganda"? Words have the power to influence people, whether they convey truth or not. Does it really matter what you say and how it affects people?


World Cultures

Social Studies
learning style
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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The world is sometimes a very confusing place.

  • How can we make sense of the experiences of life?
  • Should we even care?

Imagine this

One warm summer night, two friends are lying out on a hillside looking up at the stars and talking about things. Friend 1 begins thinking aloud, "I wonder what is out there. Are we alone in this universe? What is the meaning of it all?"

Friend 2 shrugs her shoulders, "What difference does it make? We can't really know the answers to those questions. Rather than wasting time trying to figure it out, let's just play to win!"

Friend 1 seems to believe that the world is like a mysterious book. We have to search for meaning in this world just like we would search for the meaning of this book. Then, we have to change our lives so we live according to that meaning.

Friend 2 doesn’t really seem to believe that there is a big meaning to the world. For that person, the world is more like an improvisational dancer — it doesn’t have a higher meaning or purpose, but moves the way it wants, when it wants.

Let’s see which of these two people you are more like! Take a short interactive quiz below. Choose the answer in each pair that you think best represents your view:

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  • What were your results?

If your total was 4-6, then you are more like Friend 1 — you may be a seeker of truth. If your total was 0-3, then you may be more like Friend 2 — you prefer to take action and shape the world around you!

As it turns out, there were two ancient thinkers like these two friends.

In the Got It? section, sit in on a debate between the great philosopher, Socrates, and the infamous Gorgias!

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