In this he follows Protagoras, who, according to Photius (cod.
PROTAGORAS (c. 481-411 B.C.), Greek philosopher, was born at Abdera.
At the age of seventy, having been accused by Pythodorus, and convicted of atheism, Protagoras fled from Athens, and on his way to Sicily was lost at sea.
Protagoras was the first to systematize grammar, distinguishing the parts of speech, the tenses and the moods.
On Protagoras' philosophy see the histories of philosophy, e.g.
The maxim of Protagoras, for example, "Man is the measure of all things," has a different purpose; it was meant to point to the truth that man rather than nature is the primary object of human study: it is a doctrine of humanism rather than of relativism.
4 Athens was at this time the centre of intellectual life, and could boast an almost unique galaxy of talent - Pericles, Thucydides the son of Melesias, Aspasia, Antiphon, the musician Damon, Pheidias, Protagoras, Zeno, Cratinus, Crates, Euripides and Sophocles.
The Sophists were the first in Greece to dissolve knowledge into individual and momentary opinion (Protagoras), or dialectically to deny the possibility of knowledge (Gorgias).
Moreover, the arguments by which Heraclitus supported this theory of the universal flux are employed by Protagoras to undermine the possibility of objective truth, by dissolving all knowledge into the momentary sensation or persuasion of the individual.
Since (following Protagoras) knowledge is solely of momentary sensations, it is useless to try, as Socrates recommended, to make calculations as to future pleasures, and to balance present enjoyment with disagreeable consequences.
In Kant's Analogien der Erfahrung (1876) he keenly criticized Kant's transcendentalism, and in his chief work Idealismus and Positivismus (3 vols., 1879-1884), he drew a clear contrast between Platonism, from which he derived transcendentalism, and positivism, of which he considered Protagoras the founder.
The master and his scholars were called Peripatetics (ol Ert Tov 7reptlredrov), certainly from meeting, like other philosophical schools, in a walk (7repL7raros), and perhaps also, on the authority of Hermippus of Smyrna, from walking and talking there, like Protagora s s and his followers as described in Plato's Protagoras (314 E, 315 e).
He means that the logical analysis of demonstration in the Analytics would teach them beforehand that there cannot be demonstration, though there must be induction, of an axiom, or any other principle; whereas, if they are not logically prepared for metaphysics, they will expect a demonstration of the axiom, as Heraclitus, the Heraclitean Cratylus and the Sophist Protagoras actually did, - and in vain.
He means that a sophist like Protagoras will teach superficially anything as wisdom for money; and that even a dialectician like Plato will write a dialogue, such as the Republic, nominally about justice, but really about all things from the generality of the form of good, instead of from appropriate moral principles; but that a primary philosopher selects as a definite subject all things as such without interfering with the special sciences of different things each in its kind (Met.
Sturt, 1902), in Humanism (1903), in which that term was proposed for the extensions of pragmatism, in Studies in Humanism (1907), and in Plato or Protagoras (1908).
If, argued Protagoras in a treatise entitled Truth, all things are in flux, so that sensation is subjective, it follows that " Man is the measure of all things, of what is, that it is, and of what is not, that it is not "; in other words, there is no such thing as objective truth.
Thus, whereas the representatives of the three successions had continued to regard themselves as philosophers or seekers after truth, Protagoras and Gorgias, plainly acknowledging their defeat, withdrew from the ungrateful struggle.
Accordingly Protagoras, while with the one hand he put away philosophy, with the other offered a substitute.
As instruments of education Protagoras used grammar, style, poetry and oratory.
Thus, whereas hitherto the young Greek, having completed his elementary training in the schools of the rypaµµaTcvTi s, the KtOapuTr s, and the 7rat orpi(3ns, was left to prepare himself for his life's work as best he might, by philosophical speculation, by artistic practice, or otherwise, one who passed from the elementary schools to the lecture-room of Protagoras received from him a " higher education."
The programme was exclusively literary, but for the moment it enabled Protagoras to satisfy the demand which he had discovered and evoked.
After Protagoras the most prominent of the literary sophists was Prodicus of Ceos.
Establishing himself at Athens, he taught virtue " or " excellence," in the sense attached to the word by Protagoras, partly by means of literary subjects, partly in discourses upon practical etlfics.
It is plain that Prodicus was an affected pedant; yet his simple conventional morality found favour, and Plato (Rep. 600 C) couples him with Protagoras in his testimony to the popularity of the sophists and their teaching.
At Athens, the centre of the intellectual life of Greece, there was soon to be found a host of sophists; some of them strangers, others citizens; some of them bred under Protagoras and Prodicus, others self-taught.
3 18 E) makes Protagoras pointedly refer to sophists who, " when young men have made their escape from the arts, plunge them once more into technical study, and teach them such subjects as arithmetic, astronomy, geometry and music."
The sophist of whom the Platonic Protagoras is here thinking was Hippias of Elis, who gave popular lectures, not only upon the four subjects just mentioned, but also upon grammar, mythology, family history, archaeology, Homerology and the education of youth.
In this polymath we see at once the degradation of the sophistry of culture and the link which connects Protagoras and Prodicus with the eristics, who at a later period taught, not, like Hippias, all branches of learning, but a universally applicable method of disputation.
That he should do so was only natural, since his position as a teacher of rhetoric was already secure when Protagoras made his first appearance in the character of a sophist; and, as Protagoras, Prodicus and the rest of the sophists of culture offered a comprehensive education, of which oratory formed only a part, whilst Gorgias made no pretence of teaching " civic excellence " (Plato, Meno, 95 C), and found a substitute for philosophy, not in literature generally, but in the professional study of rhetoric alone, it would have been convenient if the distinction between sophistry and rhetoric had been maintained.
But though, as will be seen hereafter, these two sorts of education were sometimes distinguished, Gorgias and those who succeeded him as teachers of rhetoric, such as Thrasymachus of Chalcedon and Polus of Agrigentum, were commonly called by the title which Protagoras had assumed and brought into familiar use.
It has been seen that the range of subjects recognized by Protagoras and Prodicus gradually extended itself, until Hippias professed himself a teacher of all branches of learning, including in his list subjects taught by artists and professional men, but handling them from a popular or non-professional point of view.
This doubt found expression in the reasoned scepticism of Gorgias, and produced the famous proposition of Protagoras, that human apprehension is the only standard of existence.
Gorgias and Protagoras are only representatives of what was really a universal tendency to abandon dogmatic theory and take refuge in practical matters, and especially, as was natural in the Greek city-state, in the civic relations of the citizen.
Plato's Protagoras, 346 C), i.
92 B with Plato's Protagoras, 313).
Protagoras, Phaedrus, Gorgias, Phaedo; (2) the second,, marked by dialectic subtlety, i.e.
Like Protagoras, he professed to train his pupils for domestic and civic affairs; but it would appear that, while Protagoras's chief instruments of education were rhetoric and style, Prodicus made ethics prominent in his curriculum.
It is equally no accident that the name of Protagoras is to be connected, in Plato's view at least, with the rival school of Heracliteans.
The problems raised by the relativism of Protagoras are no less fundamentally problems of the nature of knowledge and of the structure of thought.
The sophist Protagoras had distinguished various kinds of sentences, and Plato had divided the sentence into noun and verb, signifying a thing and the action of a thing.
But the question still remains - Was the education provided by Protagoras, by Gorgias, by Isocrates, by the eristics and by Socrates, good, bad or indifferent?
Excellent as a statement of the aim and method of Isocrates, and tolerable as a statement of those of Gorgias, these phrases are inexact if applied to Protagoras, who, making " civic virtue " his aim, regarded statesmanship and administration as parts of " civic virtue ", and consequently assigned to oratory no more than a subordinate place in his programme, while to the eristics - whose existence is attested not only by Plato, but also by Isocrates and Aristotle - and to Socrates - whom Grote himself accounts a sophist - the description is plainly and palpably inappropriate.