Plato's <i>Protagoras</i>: the plurality of value in the sophistic age

Lauren J. Apfel

in The Advent of Pluralism

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199600625
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191724985 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Classical Monographs

Plato's Protagoras: the plurality of value in the sophistic age

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This chapter examines Protagoras in the context of Plato's dialogue the Protagoras, and also in the larger context of the sophistic age. More specifically, it argues that Protagoras held that values, like truths, can be diverse and conflicting. The chapter explores each section of the dialogue in turn by illustrating the ways in which Protagoras' views, as expounded by Plato, can further be considered pluralist. So too, it highlights the sophistic issues which are brought to light and how Protagorean pluralism is representative of broader fifth‐century trends of thinking. The analysis of the Great Speech, the unity of virtues, and the metrikē technē (measuring craft) are particularly important in drawing attention to the parallels between modern pluralism and Protagoras' position.

Keywords: Protagoras; Plato; the Protagoras; sophistic Age; values; Great Speech; unity of virtues; Metrikē technē

Chapter.  13920 words. 

Subjects: Classical Philosophy

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