Protagoras

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Protagoras

(prōtăg`ərəs), c.490–c.421 B.C., Greek philosopher of Abdera, one of the more distinguished SophistsSophists
, originally, itinerant teachers in Greece (5th cent. B.C.) who provided education through lectures and in return received fees from their audiences. The term was given as a mark of respect.
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. He taught for a time in Athens, where he was a friend of Pericles and knew Socrates, but was forced to flee because of his professed agnosticism. Protagoras was the author of the famous saying, "Man is the measure of all things." He held that each man is the standard of what is true to himself, that all truth is relative to the individual who holds it and can have no validity beyond him. Thus he denied the possibility of objective knowledge and refused to differentiate between sense and reason. None of his works have survived, but one of Plato's most famous dialogues bears his name.

Protagoras

?485--?411 bc, Greek philosopher and sophist, famous for his dictum "Man is the measure of all things."
References in periodicals archive ?
Thus in these first four [phrase omitted] Aristotle induces doubt about his (and his reader's) ambitious project, following which doubt he steadily descends, as we will see, from Platonism to Protagorean relativism and subsequently into metaphysical despair.
Although they cannot be affirmed as protagorean texts, they are considered later receptions of doctrines of this sophist and, therefore, as allusions to his thought.
These are but two ways in which our contemporary way of thinking is "Protagorean."
Previously accepted answers to basic questions in these areas have been rejected, as seen in the quote by Nietzsche: "Our contemporary way of thinking is to a great extent Heraclitean, Democritean, and Protagorean: it suffices to say Protagorean, because Protagoras represented a synthesis of Heraclitus and Democritus." (4) This rejection has led to widespread skepticism, an accepted naturalism, and ethical relativism with implications for legal pragmatism in our day.
(62) Ornegin bkz., Friedrich Kratochwil, "The Protagorean Quest: Community, Justice, and the 'Oughts' and 'Musts' of International Politics", International Journal, Cilt 43, No.2, 1988, s.205-240; Jutta Weldes, "Constructing National Interests", European Journal of International Relations, Cilt 2, No.3, s.275-318; Jens Bartelson, A Genealogy of Sovereignty, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1995.
Whilst the motivation for Socrates' digression has its roots in the discussion on the expanded form of the Protagorean Measure Doctrine (hereafter called [EPD]) between 166a-171c,1 I contend that the digression does not directly address [EPD]; rather, I argue that the immediate motivation for the digression occurs during the 'New Formulation' (2) between 171d-172b.
Isocrates incorporated Protagorean dissoi logoi into synerchesthe, a broader concept that he used flexibly to express interlocking senses of:
In this respect, Arendt concludes, Kant falls back into a problem that Plato had diagnosed in the famous Protagorean saying that "man is the measure of all use things (chremata)." He saw that "if man is the measure of all things, then man is the only thing outside the means-end relationship, the only end in himself who can use everything else as a means"; and this is why he replied--though Arendt will not join him in this response--that "not man ...
In this way, the thesis that Thrasymachus' position logically implies Protagorean relativism comes to be decisive, although on separate grounds it is not wholly convincing.
But this is not relativism of the Protagorean sort according to which 'Each individual is the measure of all things'.
This was of course more Protagorean than Socratic in the sense that Socrates would have expected Question-Answer-Question.
Christopher Herbert finds it ironic that Mansel should base his critique of "the philosophy of absolutes" squarely on Protagorean principles of relativity.