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Nova tellus

Print version ISSN 0185-3058


GONZALEZ VARELA, José Edgar. Protagoras’ Speech on the Good in Plato’s Protagoras. Nova tellus [online]. 2020, vol.38, n.1, pp.101-122.  Epub June 15, 2020. ISSN 0185-3058.

Protagoras’ discourse on the good in the Protagoras (334a3-c6) has not been correctly interpreted. In general, it is assumed that the sophist presents there a sort of relativism about the good, which does not receive any response by Socrates. In this paper I defend a different interpretation, according to which, the philosophical position that Protagoras introduces in the speech is a pluralist position. Moreover, I hold that Socrates does respond to the speech. This response is in Socrates’ development of a hedonist thesis, which is subsequently accepted by Protagoras. Indeed, this sort of hedonism is a monism about the good and, therefore, is inconsistent with the previous Protagorean pluralist position. The moral of this exchange is, then, that the sophist does not know what the good is, the goal of education, for he is led to an inconsistent position about it.

Keywords : Education; Hedonism; Pluralism; Sophists; Virtue.

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