Two Portraits of Protagoras in Plato: Theaetetus vs. Protagoras

Illinois Classical Studies 47 (2):359-382 (2023)
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Abstract

This article will contrast two portrayals of Protagoras: one in the "Theaetetus," where Socrates discusses Protagorean theory and even comes to his defense by imitating the deceased sophist; and another in the "Protagoras," where Socrates recounts his encounter with the sophist. I suggest that Plato wants listeners and readers of the dialogues to hear the dissonance between the two portraits and to wonder why Socrates so distorts Protagoras in the "Theaetetus." Protagoras in the "Protagoras" behaves and speaks in ways that are incompatible with the Protagorean position presented in the "Theaetetus."

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Mateo Duque
State University of New York at Binghamton

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