Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Protagoras” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  808 ratings  ·  31 reviews
In the fifth century BC professional educators, the sophists, travelled the Greek world claiming to teach success in public and private life. In this dialogue Plato shows the pretensions of the leading sophist, Protagoras, challenged by the critical arguments of Socrates. From criticism of the educational aims and methods of the sophists the dialogue broadens out to consid ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published December 19th 1996 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st -381)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Protagoras, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Protagoras

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,406)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Riku Sayuj

“It makes no difference to me, provided you give the answers, whether it is your own opinion or not. I am primarily interested in testing the argument, although it may happen both that the questioner, myself, and my respondent wind up being tested.”


“Well, then, do you say that ignorance is to have a false belief and to be deceived about matters of importance?”


The Protagoras is at its core a simple dialogue that questions the role of teachers in society - Is teaching poss
Jul 30, 2014 Manny rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Seekers after truth, robots
Celebrity Death Match Special: Plato versus Isaac Asimov

[A street in Athens. Late evening. SOCRATES and R. DANEEL OLIVAW]

OLIVAW: Greetings.

SOCRATES: Are you a demon? A messenger of the Gods? A--

OLIVAW: I am a robot from the future. There are some things I need to understand better. People say you may be able to help me.

SOCRATES: They were undoubtedly too kind. I know little, indeed nothing; but what miserable skill I have in debate is at your disposal--

OLIVAW: You're not fooling anyone. I wanted
Duffy Pratt
This is maybe the only dialogue I've read which was actually a dialogue. So often, a Platonic dialogue consists of little more than Socrates asking a series of questions, some of them lasting for a page or more, and then his interlocutor giving a one to three word answer. Here, Protagoras stands up for his own views, and he seems to hold his own fairly well with Socrates. He's not simply a foil, or if he is, he is not a simple foil.

The structure of the dialogue also tends to meander more than us
David Sarkies
Apr 05, 2014 David Sarkies rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anybody
Recommended to David by: David Hester
Shelves: philosophy
Socrates on teaching morality
24 January 2013

This I feel is one of Plato's later dialogues, though it is still very Socratic in form. It is believed that the main part of the dialogue (it is not really a dialogue in that it seems to be more like a retelling of an earlier event, an event which most likely occurred before Plato was born, than a first hand account of a discussion). However, I also note that there is no reference to the theory of Forms, so it appears that this particular work is pro
Rosa Ramôa
"Quando mandam (o rapaz de 7 anos) à escola,recomendam aos mestres que se preocupem tanto com o seu comportamento como com o seu conhecimento das das letras e da cítara.(...)Mais tarde (aos 12 anos),envia-se o jovem ao mestre de educação física,para que a sua inteligência já formada disponha de um corpo igualmente são e para que ele não recue perante os deveres da guerra(...).Enfim,quando o jovem se liberta da escola,a pólis obriga-o a aprender as leis e ensina-o a reger a sua vida por elas."
Vincent Saint-Simon
Oct 09, 2007 Vincent Saint-Simon rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Protagoras
Sirs and Madams,

I have my own reasons for liking this book, and they have more to do with style than content. That said, there is also some pretty good content.


David Williamson
Protagoras has three elements that make it a worthwhile read - 1; it is more Socratic than Platonic, if this could ever be the case. 2; Socrates has someone who can actually argue his case against him, although it is still heavily in Socrates favour, and - 3; it involves Protagoras (i.e. 'Man is the measure of all things ...').

It is true that this book does not delve particularly too deep into any questioning of virtue, knowledge or the Good. But it is good to see Plato being caught at his loose
Another fabulous book which will make you question the logic behind the Socratic dialectic, as well as some of the biggest questions in Philosophy. The (almost omnipresent in philosophy) theme of relativism is at its centre, with Plato/Socrates arguing that Protagoras' doctrine that "man is the measure of all things" has some serious underlying flaws. Another aspect of this dialogue is the question as to whether concepts such as "good" etc. are divisible. This, to some extent, can link in with t ...more
Nick Anderson
Socrates' friend Hippocrates asks Socrates to accompany him to visit Protagoras, the great sophist who has arrived in town, so that he can pay him to learn how to be a doctor. Sophists today would be like teachers of rhetoric whi instead of teaching knowledge teach the appearance of knowledge, for a fee. The argument of the dialogue is whether knowledge can be taught which Protagoras defends, but by the end of the dialogue he and Socrates see, to switch positions. Protagoras begins his argument ...more
Sidharth Vardhan
So, Socrates finds, for a change, someone who knows how to argue. At least twice was Socrates inconsistent - himself making long speeches while showing his hatred for them and then, starting discussion about poets only to conclude that it is something that wise people don't do.

The best part is towards the end, where some philosophy is actually established - that no one knowingly does evil; and all evil point towards lack of wisdom. Socrates points out that all virtues, specially courage, in tru
This was an interesting dialogue. There doesn’t seem to be any common theme to it. And Socrates finally has an opponent who can hold his own in an argument rather than just giving one word answers.

Hippocrates goes to Socrates and tells that Protagoras is in Athens. He wishes to learn from him and asks Socrates to accompany him, as he is not acquainted with Protagoras. On their way, Socrates questions Hippocrates as to what he wishes to learn from Protagoras and Hippocrates fails to give any sati
There is a great amount of joy in coming together with bright friends and arguing about the big, important ideas that have no clear-cut answers. The ancient greeks really seemed to have mastered the life of the mind, and the love of knowledge. It was so much fun to read this dialogue. I imagined that I was a silent guest at this house, watching these two very intelligent and well-spoken people argue about the nature of virtue. The conversation changes and meanders just like a natural conversatio ...more
Garrett Cash
This is an interesting Socratic dialogue. Rather than some layman thinker that Socrates mows down like a Gatling gun, he debates the older, more respected sophist thinker Protagoras. This is set when Socrates was a young man of 35 (it's the Socrates version of Batman Begins!) and not as experienced in his debating skills. He discusses topics like how one learns morality and the meaning of poetry, eventually ending in Protagoras saying that he can't go on any further and commending Socrates on hi ...more
A masterpiece from the perspective of philosophy or even of fiction.

But of course there's gay stuff on page 1:

Com. Where do you come from, Socrates? And yet I need hardly ask the question, for I know that you have been in chase of the fair Alcibiades. I saw the day before yesterday; and he had got a beard like a man-and he is a man, as I may tell you in your ear. But I thought that he was still very charming.

Soc. What of his beard? Are you not of Homer's opinion, who says

Youth is most charming
Protagoras is a dialogue between the young Socrates and the elderly Protagoras on the nature of virtue, and gives the reader a good overall idea of the techniques in discourse employed by Socrates.

The comedy inherent in Socratic dialogues is that nothing is really ever proven or espoused as doctrine, except perhaps that anything can be dis-proven and little (if anything) can truly be known. With a teaching of a religious or philosophical figure, the stage is typically set with the various chara
Заранее прошу прощения, если оскорблю чьи-то чувства, но это ужасный диалог. Итог прочтения - зря потраченное время. Данный диалог не дал мне ни морального, ни духовного(душевного) удовлетворения, ни какого-то нового знания. Диалектика ради диалектики и демагогия ради демагогии. Наверное, это последнее прочитанное мною произведение Платона сократовского периода.
Arkar Kyaw
This is one of my favorite Plato dialogues and this one is a real 'dialogue' in its full sense. Here, we see Socrates as a young man went to Protagoras, who claimed to be the wisest of all. Immediately, he realized these Sophists don't know what they are saying and through a very clever debate, he showed that knowledge is the important part of virtue and it cannot be taught. The back and forth arguments between Socrates and Protagoras is amusing that we can see the intelligence of Socrates.
Protagoras is so full of ideas:

Is virtue one thing or several things?
How are knowledge and action related?
Can moral excellence be taught?
What is courage?

This dialogue contains the most equitable exchange of ideas that I have ever seen between Socrates and one of his discussion partners. Unlike many characters in the other dialogues, I found myself agreeing upon several points with the character of Protagoras. In fact, it is the only Platonic dialogue in which I can recall Socrates really seeming
Un petit Platon sans prétention, assez agréable car Socrate n'est pas le maestro incontesté et l'interlocuteur, le grand sophiste Protagoras, a de quoi lui répondre. C'est aussi ici que se trouve le fameux mythe de Prométhée et de son imprévoyant frère Epiméthée.
De plus la fin est assez amusante dans son ironie des positions.
Cette traduction (GF) est faite dans un langage très moderne, donc plus accessible à des néophytes ou à une certaine compréhension, mais pour les amoureux de la langue ou
This was a much more difficult and unrewarding read than I would have thought. The loops of rheotoric that Socartes and Protagoras weave around each other, while occasionally intriguing, often seem clumsy and confused, especially about how to respond to one another. I guess its useful in that it shows that misunderstanding worked in the ancient world as well as it does today. If you really really want to read Plato, there are better dialogues out there to choose from i.e. Meno, Gorgias, Timaeus. ...more
Read it over a couple days, so maybe my continuity was a bit interrupted, but Plato seems to attack in a circuitous manner, which means that it might be hard to fully comprehend how he makes his way from point A to point B in the overall argument. Still, very good read to observe his question-answer format of philosophy, and there are a couple funny parts mixed in. Excellent footnotes for which to understand everything fully, including background on some interesting ancient mythology.
Tento dialog se týkal relativistických tezí sofistů a Platónových argumentů proti nim.
I really enjoyed reading this dialogue. It is short and concise and discusses many political issues that are still relevant. The issue is the conversation between Socrates and protagoras which unfortunately has the worst logic and lack of charm I have come across for a long time.
Peter Coleman
If this doesn't catch you off guard, then nothing will. Socrates and Protagoras are both trying to slip things into the discussion without the other noticing. Be careful that you do notice, then you'll find how little was said, but how much that little lets us in on what's going on.
Not that reading Plato is the most exciting thing in the world, but this one was drudgery. I was pretty cool with the dialogue between Socrates and Protagoras until they got to the poetry. They both pretty much agreed that they were contradicting themselves and then gave up.
Ana Enriques
Una lectura fascinante, para nada tediosa pese a la dificultad que podría plantear seguir el pensamiento de Sócrates. Una hermosa ilustración de los corrientes filosóficas de la época y del método socrático de "dar a luz" el conocimiento en su adversario.
Natalie Moore Goodison
A more accessible Plato, but all I keep thinking is, Ah I have to re-read this too.
A Greek masterpiece like every text of the antiquity.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 46 47 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Politics: Protagoras 1 1 Oct 17, 2013 11:21AM  
  • The Categories
  • Hecuba
  • A History of Philosophy 3: Ockham to Suarez
  • Sextus Empiricus: Outlines of Scepticism
  • Eumenides
  • Women of Trachis
  • The Enneads
  • A History of My Times
  • The Ecclesiazusae (or Women in Council)
  • The Discourses
  • The Nature of the Gods
  • Acts of Religion
  • The First Philosophers: The Presocratics and Sophists
  • The Epicurus Reader: Selected Writings and Testimonia
  • Rules for the Direction of the Mind
  • Hesiod/Homeric Hymns/Epic Cycle-Homerica
(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
More about Plato...
The Republic The Trial and Death of Socrates The Symposium Apology Five Dialogues: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“What of his beard? Are you not of Homer's opinion, who says Youth is most charming when the beard first appears?” 2 likes
“Then Prometheus, in his perplexity as to what preservation he could devise, stole from Hephaestus and Athena wisdom in the arts together with fire -- since by no means without fire could it be acquired or helpfully used by any -- and he handed it there and then as a gift to man.” 1 likes
More quotes…