Protagoras Summary

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The story of Protagoras starts out with a dialogue between Socrates and Hippocrates. Hippocrates is excited that Protagoras is in town because Hippocrates wants to be the disciple of Protagoras. Socrates knows that Hippocrates is young, naïve, and excitable, so he questions him about what he really wants to learn from Protagoras. He says to Hippocrates, “Are you going to commit your soul to the care of a man you call a Sophist, and yet you hardly think that you know what a Sophist is?” Socrates, being a philosopher, cares more about knowing the truth and being correct about your beliefs. But what we learn about Sophist’s is that they are teachers of rhetoric, which means they teach you how to make an argument even if it is incorrect and immoral. Socrates is worried for Hippocrates because Socrates believes that Protagoras is going to bring harm to Hippocrates by turning his soul evil.
Socrates and Hippocrates decide to go to where Protagoras is staying so that they can talk with him. After Protagoras agrees to talk with them, he goes on
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Socrates is arguing that virtue is not made up of five different parts. He is trying to convince Protagoras that courage and wisdom are the same thing. He does this saying that you can not have courage without being aware of the truth. It is not that some people are courageous and not wise, they are instead, bold. For example, someone might be bold enough to stick their hand in a fire but that is not courageous. It would be courageous if they stuck their hand in the fire knowing that the fire is hot and that it will burn them, but that takes wisdom. So what we learn from this is that we can not be courageous without wisdom. To have wisdom, you have to have knowledge, and knowledge has to be taught. But this is exactly the opposite of what Socrates started out the argument saying. He started out saying virtue can not be taught, but now he is saying you have to teach

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