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Encyclopedia > Protagoras

Protagoras (in Greek Πρωταγόρας) was born around 481 BC in Abdera, Thrace in Ancient Greece. He was a pre-Socratic philosopher and is numbered as one of the sophists by Plato, who in his dialogue of the same name credits him with having invented the role of the professional sophist or teacher of "virtue". He died c. 420 BC. Centuries: 6th century BC - 5th century BC - 4th century BC Decades: 530s BC 520s BC 510s BC 500s BC 490s BC - 480s BC - 470s BC 460s BC 450s BC 440s BC 430s BC Years: 486 BC 485 BC 484 BC 483 BC 482 BC _ 481 BC _ 480 BC... Abdera, was a town on the coast of Thrace near the mouth of the Nestos, and almost opposite Thasos. ... Ancient Greece is the term used to describe the Greek-speaking world in ancient times. ... Pre-Socratic philosophers are often very hard to pin down, and it is sometimes very difficult to determine the actual line of argument they used in supporting their particular views. ... A philosopher is a person who thinks deeply regarding people, society, the world, and/or the universe. ... Sophism was originally a term for the techniques taught by a highly respected group of philosophy and rhetoric teachers in ancient Greece. ... Plato Plato (Greek: Πλάτων, Plátōn) (c. ... Centuries: 6th century BC - 5th century BC - 4th century BC Decades: 470s BC 460s BC 450s BC 440s BC 430s BC - 420s BC - 410s BC 400s BC 390s BC 380s BC 370s BC Years: 425 BC 424 BC 423 BC 422 BC 421 BC - 420 BC - 419 BC 418 BC...


Protagoras was famous as a teacher of rhetoric and debate which were vital to Greek social life. Due to those interests, he was fascinated by the study of orthoepeia, or the correct use of words. Orthoepeia means the correct use of words, from the Greek orth- + -epos, correct + word, speech. ...


His most famous saying is: "Man is the measure of all things: of things which are, that they are so, and of things which are not, that they are not."1 The word 'man' here is used generically meaning any human being. A subjectivist approach would see this as an individual, but it is perhaps more likely that Protagoras came from a relativist angle and meant humans collectively.


Despite the fame of this phrase, it has been passed down to us without any context, as is so often the case with the Presocratics, and its meaning isn't entirely clear. It was Protagoras' teachings that spurred later philosophers such as Plato to search for objective, transcendent guidelines to underlie moral behavior, and the importance of subjectivity is an important theme in modern philosophy. Plato Plato (Greek: Πλάτων, Plátōn) (c. ... 17th-century philosophy in the West is generally regarded as seeing the start of modern philosophy, and the shaking off of the mediæval approach, especially scholasticism. ...


Protagoras was also a famous proponent of agnosticism. In "On the Gods," he wrote, "Concerning the gods, I have no means of knowing whether they exist or not or of what sort they may be, because of the obscurity of the subject, and the brevity of human life." Agnosticism is the philosophical view that the truth or falsity of certain claims—particularly theological claims regarding the existence of God or gods—is unknown, unknowable, or incoherent. ...


The Protagoras crater on the Moon was named in his honor. Protagoras is a lunar impact crater that is located on the Mare Frigoris on the northern part of the Moon. ... Bulk composition of the moons mantle and crust estimated, weight percent Oxygen 42. ...


Protagoras and the scientific method

Even though Protagoras was a contemporary of Socrates, the philosopher of Abdera is considered a presocratic thinker. He followed the Ionian tradition that distinguishes the School of Abdera. The distinctive note of this tradition is criticism, a systematic discussion that can be identified as "presocratic dialectic" which was an alternative to the aristotelian demonstrative method which, according to Karl Popper, has the fault of dogmatism. Maybe the main contribution of Protagoras was in the field of Epistemology due to his method to find a better argument by discarding the less viable one. It is known as "Antilogies" consisting of two premises. The first one was "Before any uncertainty two opposite theses can validly be confronted". And the second is its complement: the need to "strengthen the weakest argument". This article is about the ancient Greek philosopher, for all other uses see: Socrates (disambiguation) Socrates ca. ... Ionia (Greek Ιωνία; see also List of traditional Greek place names) was an ancient region of southwestern coastal Anatolia (now in Turkey) on the Aegean Sea. ... Sir Karl Raimund Popper, CH, FRS (July 28, 1902 – September 17, 1994), was an Austrian and British philosopher and a professor at the London School of Economics. ...


Protagoras knew that the less appealing argument could hide the best answer, which is why he stated that it was constantly necessary to strengthen the weakest argument. Having been born before Socrates himself, this progressive viewpoint in the development of consensual truth could conceivably have contributed to the progressive styles of many of the other great minds which followed him.


Protagoras is a dialogue by Plato. Protagoras is the title of one of Platos dialogues. ... The term dialogue (or dialog) expresses basically reciprocal conversation between two or more persons. ... Plato Plato (Greek: Πλάτων, Plátōn) (c. ...


Notes

1 This quote is recapitulated in Plato's Theaetetus, section 152a. [1]


The Theætetus is a dialogue by Plato. ...

This article is part of The Presocratic Philosophers series
Thales | Anaximander | Anaximenes of Miletus | Pythagoras | Philolaus | Archytas | Empedocles | Heraclitus | Parmenides | Zeno of Elea | Melissus of Samos | Xenophanes | Anaxagoras | Leucippus | Democritus | Protagoras | Gorgias | Prodicus | Hippias | Pherecydes
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Protagoras

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Protagoras (dialogue) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (395 words)
Protagoras argues that society is capable of instilling a sense of justice in the individual.
Protagoras is evidently a teacher of the political art for hire, and a sophist.
Particularly interesting about Protagoras is that as he undergoes Socrates' examinations, his remarks imply that he believes that there are no gods, that oligarchy is the best form of government, and that he believes Socrates to share his views.
Protagoras - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (528 words)
Protagoras was famous as a teacher of rhetoric and debate which were vital to Greek social life.
It was Protagoras' teachings that spurred later philosophers such as Plato to search for objective, transcendent guidelines to underlie moral behavior, and the importance of subjectivity is an important theme in modern philosophy.
Protagoras knew that the less appealing argument could hide the best answer, which is why he stated that it was constantly necessary to strengthen the weakest argument.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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