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© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Protagoras: Selected full-text books and articles

Protagoras By Plato; C. C. W. Taylor Oxford University Press, 1996
Protagoras and Meno By Plato; W. K. C. Guthrie Penguin Book, 1956
Method in Ancient Philosophy By Jyl Gentzler Clarendon Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Relativism and Self-Refutation: Plato, Protagoras, and Burnyeat"
Essays on the Philosophy of Socrates By Hugh H. Benson Oxford University Press, 1992
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Protagoras in multiple chapters
The Awakening of Western Legal Thought By 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 By Trevor J. Saunders Clarendon Press, 1994
Librarian’s tip: "Plato and Protagoras" begins on p. 162
A History of Greek Political Thought By T. A. Sinclair Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1952
Librarian’s tip: Chap. IV "Protagoras and Others"
Myth and Philosophy from the Presocratics to Plato By Kathryn A. Morgan Cambridge University Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5. "The Protagoras: Platonic Myth in the Making"
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