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The Advent of PluralismDiversity and Conflict in the Age of Sophocles$
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Lauren J. Apfel

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199600625

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199600625.001.0001

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Plato's Protagoras: the plurality of value in the sophistic age

Plato's Protagoras: the plurality of value in the sophistic age

(p.79) III Plato's Protagoras: the plurality of value in the sophistic age
The Advent of Pluralism

Lauren J. Apfel

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Protagoras in the context of Plato's dialogue the Protagoras, and also in the larger context of the sophistic age. More specifically, it argues that Protagoras held that values, like truths, can be diverse and conflicting. The chapter explores each section of the dialogue in turn by illustrating the ways in which Protagoras' views, as expounded by Plato, can further be considered pluralist. So too, it highlights the sophistic issues which are brought to light and how Protagorean pluralism is representative of broader fifth‐century trends of thinking. The analysis of the Great Speech, the unity of virtues, and the metrikē technē (measuring craft) are particularly important in drawing attention to the parallels between modern pluralism and Protagoras' position.

Keywords:   Protagoras, Plato, the Protagoras, sophistic Age, values, Great Speech, unity of virtues, Metrikē technē

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