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  • Author: Felix Trautmann x
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Abstract

Since the origin of philosophical thought the status of the logos has been subject of numerous scholarly disputes. Besides the rather classical tradition that can be traced back to Parmenides, ancient rhetorics has offered its own critical account in the discourse on the logos. This text explores the critique of the philosophical understanding of language and being bequeathed by Gorgias of Leontini. In a reading of his texts On the Non-Existent as well as his Encomium of Helen the claim is made that Gorgias’ thought on the effective power of speech and the paradoxical nature of the non-existant (me on) can be regarded as a critical thinking of the political dimension of the logos. As this text shows, the continuation of his critical understanding of the political nature of free speech can be found in a ›politics of the performative‹ (Judith Butler) that has occupied recent discussions in political philosophy.