Protagoras

Protagoras (prōtăg´ərəs), c.490–c.421 BC, Greek philosopher of Abdera, one of the more distinguished Sophists. 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.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Protagoras
C. C. W. Taylor; Plato.
Oxford University Press, 1996
Protagoras and Meno
W. K. C. Guthrie; Plato.
Penguin Book, 1956
The Phaedrus, Lysis, and Protagoras of Plato: a New and Literal Translation Mainly from the Text of Bekker
J. Wright.
Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1921
Method in Ancient Philosophy
Jyl Gentzler.
Clarendon Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Relativism and Self-Refutation: Plato, Protagoras, and Burnyeat"
Essays on the Philosophy of Socrates
Hugh H. Benson.
Oxford University Press, 1992
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Protagoras in multiple chapters
The Awakening of Western Legal Thought
Max Hamburger; Bernard Miall.
G. Allen & Unwin, 1969
Librarian’s tip: "Protagoras" begins on p. 29
Plato's Penal Code: Tradition, Controversy, and Reform in Greek Penology
Trevor J. Saunders.
Clarendon Press, 1994
Librarian’s tip: "Plato and Protagoras" begins on p. 162
A History of Greek Political Thought
T. A. Sinclair.
Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1952
Librarian’s tip: Chap. IV "Protagoras and Others"
Epistemology after Protagoras: Responses to Relativism in Plato, Aristotle, and Democritus
Mi-Kyoung Lee.
Clarendon Press, 2005
Myth and Philosophy from the Presocratics to Plato
Kathryn A. Morgan.
Cambridge University Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5. "The Protagoras: Platonic Myth in the Making"
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