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Protagoras and Meno

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3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  488 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Exploring the question of what exactly makes good people good, Protagoras and Meno are two of the most enjoyable and accessible of all of Plato's dialogues. Widely regarded as his finest dramatic work, the Protagoras, set during the golden age of Pericles, pits a youthful Socrates against the revered sophist Protagoras, whose brilliance and humanity make him one the most i ...more
Kindle Edition, 208 pages
Published (first published -390)
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Justin Evans
I was reading some history book the other day when I realized I'd never read Protagoras. Well, now I have, and the Meno for good measure. As with too many Platonic dialogues, if they weren't by Plato and didn't feature Socrates, nobody would care: The Republic this ain't. Socrates' fundamental question--"yes, but what is virtue, really?"--is a good one, but the obvious answer ("you're being fooled by a word into believing that the various human excellences must have some one thing in common") is ...more
Hannah Kwak
Aug 14, 2015 Hannah Kwak rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Among the works of Plato I've read so far, Protagoras has so far been my favorite. A dialogue between Socrates and Protagoras, the work describes the two philosophers discussing whether or not virtue can be taught. The question is explored in many different directions, some of which may confuse the reader at times, but the arguments are compelling and easily understood with some thought. The dialogue first establishes the difficulty of defining virtue: when one tries to define the word, he or sh ...more
Tony
Apr 02, 2014 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
PROTAGORAS and MENO. (432 BCE and 402 BCE). Plato. ****.
If you’ve not read any of Plato’s dialogues (plays) before, these two would be a good place to start. I say this because they are relatively more accessible than most of the others. In the PROTAGORAS, Socrates meets up with Hippocrates and begins the dialog in response to Hippocrates’ desire to hook up with Protagoras. At the time, Protagoras was known to be among the leading Sophists of the day. Hippocrates wanted to approach him and have
...more
Cassandra Kay Silva
Socrates's approach to Protagoras was much more round about than he dealings with Meno. I preferred Protagoras, but felt that there was much to get out of both of these dialogs. This is a wonderful set of dialogs that explore the essence of virtue. They also expose the Sophists of the time to a bit of ridicule and ponderings. Having never met or talked to a sophist appears not to be an issue here. I liked the topic of conversation but am absolutely not resolved to the conclusions drawn on these ...more
Nate
Feb 29, 2008 Nate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
more interesting as a cultural insight to ancient greece circa 2500 years ago, which is nothing short of fascinating. admittedly the logic and semantic arguments themselves are rather dull to read nowadays but it would be silly to deny and recognise their influence
Hunter
Nov 26, 2016 Hunter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Review for Meno). A fantastic exploration of ethics, virtue and the acquisition of proper conduct.
Lukerik
Oct 18, 2016 Lukerik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
An excellent introduction for the general reader, but notes so sparse I wonder why they bothered at all. The translation of Meno is flowing and readable. I can't speak for Protagoras as I recently read someone else's translation. The two dialogues are a sensible fit though as they both deal with virtue.
Bob Nichols
Nov 28, 2014 Bob Nichols rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ostensibly, this dialogue between Protagoras and Socrates is a discussion about the essential nature of virtue and whether virtue can be taught. Socrates gets invited to meet the famous Sophist Protagoras. Socrates engages Protagoras in a series of questions that are difficult to follow and seem designed to put Protagoras into his place. When Protagoras pushes back, Socrates claims his innocence and says that Protagoras’ questions are too long for him to follow.

This dialogue is disappointing. T
...more
David S. T.
Jan 15, 2012 David S. T. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The penguin edition was the first edition of Meno I've read, the other is the Hackett edition. Between the two the Penguin does seem easier to understand and has better sentence structure, but I don't know which is more accurate. One of the big differences between the two is the Penguine edition uses "Good" where as the Hackett uses "Virtue". This edition also contains way better footnotes.

Protagoras was my first introduction to Plato, but sadly I read it a while ago and I don't really remember
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Daniel Wright
Plato is both an extremely daunting figure in philosophy and a surprisingly accessible (at least, in a good translation such as mine). In fact, I would venture to suggest that in no other Western thinker is the discrepancy greater (though I'd love to hear counter-examples).

Protagoras is a notable dialogue primarily in that it is one of Plato's only dialogues in which Socrates does not simply walk all over his interlocutors. Plato's Socrates is well-known for his dislike of the sophists (of whom
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blakeR
A couple of the more enjoyable dialogues because they are much more accessible and they concern a more practical topic: virtue. That said, I find it hard to rate it high when I disagree with a large part of Socrates' argumentation and conclusions. I have no certainty that virtue is the same as knowledge, as he states in both of them, and then dismisses later in the Meno. I do think it's possible to have knowledge and still act unvirtuously, unlike Socrates. And I do think that sometimes emotions ...more
Jason Meinig
Mar 03, 2015 Jason Meinig rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like all of Plato's works, and this was no exception. This time around, he has Socrates questioning if Virtue is teachable. He equates virtue w/ knowledge and continues to insist that knowledge is always, ultimately, the right way to live, with virtue. This is a quick summary, obviously. I like reading Plato because its not just a point-by-point philosophical treatise, but rather a dramatic telling of conversations that seem to naturally bring the reader's mind to conceptualize different ideas ...more
Richard Newton
Apr 30, 2013 Richard Newton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
The Meno and Protagoras are two of Plato's better known works and a standard component of many undergraduate courses which touch on philosophy. These are relaxed modern translations - they are easy to read and the philosophical concepts are generally easy to identify from them. The supporting essay is a bit light, but if you want analysis there are plenty of other versions. I did occasionally feel that the translation was a bit too colloquial - I'm not suggesting Plato can only be approach by fo ...more
Don
May 08, 2013 Don rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review is for the Cornell edition:

Five stars for the Protagoras translation alone. I haven't read the essays or Meno translation yet. Bartlett's translation is clear and heavily footnoted, which is nice. Cornell's Plato editions are great: affordable, accurate translations with useful notes and commentary.

More notes on the edition: the Meno translation is good as well. Great actually. I like the Hackett edition of the Meno too, but this translation is better and has helpful footnotes.

The es
...more
Frightful_elk
This book explains Plato's position on the nature of virtue.

The two books provide an interesting contrast of Plato's evolving theory in this area, the first book perhaps representing more truly Socrates theory and character, while Meno shows Plato's later elaboration and sanctification of Socrates.

Protagoras is remarkable refreshing and easy to read, it's set up within a very honest and human dynamic, making the philosophy engaging and easy to follow.

Short and sweet, nice taster course for Plat
...more
David Evers
Just re-read Protagoras after a hiatus of 20 years, feeling inspired after having completed the Odyssey. I was hoping for a little more humor given the opportunity: Progagoras as a sophist is paid for imparting knowledge of virtue, and Socrates should have no problem exposing him as a charlatan. Unfortunately, Socrates enlists his "help" in exploring what virtue is. While interesting from a philosophical point of view, Socrates was less insulting and sarcastic than in other dialogues.
Jesse
May 18, 2010 Jesse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Protagoras is the father of the postmodernist mantra, "Man is the measure of all things." The dialogue itself is a rhetorically stunning examination of rhetoric, so, in our relativistic age, it is a key text. Meno depicts Socrates drawing geometric lines in the sand to a slave in order to prove that there are innate ideas. The theory is bunk, but the process is pedagogically valid, and it might just get you enthusiastic enough for Euclid.
Elena
I skipped a bit. Not one of my favourites although very interesting. I learned how Epimeteus was commanded by the gods to distribute specific qualities to the different species of animals, and how he ran out of qualities once he got to humans beings. That's how Prometeus came into play, stealing fire from the gods, so that humans could be similar to them, and share with them the gift of virtue. But what is virtue? If you want to know, read the Protagoras....
Maddy
Oct 07, 2016 Maddy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you want easy access to Philosophy then it's probably good to start with Plato.
I find his dialogues the best way to understand and actually absorb the subject at hand. This one is on what it means to be "good" and how it's actually not something that can be taught, very interesting subject! The Republic still remains my favourite though.
Claire
Apr 29, 2007 Claire rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in classical logic.
I was guided through both the Protagoras and the Meno by a list of involved questions. If I didn't have that, I would have considered consulting an expert on Plato to get the most out of what these two texts have to offer.
Sarah
This book was interesting. I had to read "Protagoras." It was very back-and-forth at times. It left me with some questions that weren't addressed at the end. Did Hippocrates decide to go to Protagoras who claimed to be one of the wisest people? I don't know if I'll ever know.
Laura
May 29, 2009 Laura marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Protagoras and Meno by Plato (2006)
Wenyu
Dec 06, 2016 Wenyu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Professor Bartlett's book!
Adrian Stevenson
Probably the first philosophy book that I ever read, given to me by my dad. This was the one that started me off.
Mark Brouwer
Mark Brouwer rated it liked it
Jun 06, 2014
NCW
NCW rated it it was amazing
Mar 11, 2015
Michael C
Michael C rated it really liked it
Apr 07, 2013
Anderson
Anderson rated it it was amazing
Jun 19, 2008
Max
Max rated it liked it
Feb 04, 2014
Ismael Schonhorst
Ismael Schonhorst rated it liked it
Aug 18, 2012
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(Greek: Πλάτων) (Arabic: أفلاطون)
Plato is a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and science.

Plato is one of the most
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