Further, Zeus orders a law regulating social behavior: Protagoras says his claim that virtue can be taught is better made by a story than by reasoned arguments, and he recounts a myth about the origins of living things. Will you be so good? But this line of argument has not progressed very far before the dialogue breaks down completely.
In fact, connections do exist between these apparently disparate parts, although they tend not to be on the level of narrative, explicit argumentative theme, or literary style.
Introduction[ edit ] The dialogue begins with an unnamed friend of Socrates asking him how his pursuit of the young Alcibiades, just now reputed to be growing his first beard, was proceeding.
By the time she had returned the lid, only blind hope remained at the bottom of the jar. He says that Epimetheus whose name means "Afterthought" who was assigned the task of passing out the assets for survival, forgot to give mankind anything so his twin brother Prometheus whose name means "Forethought" stole fire from Hephaestus and practical wisdom from Athena and gave them to man.
This is contrary to the common belief that the Spartans lacked in these issues and devoted themselves exclusively to physical training but Socrates claims that they are masters at concealing their skills.
Having reached this position, Protagoras continues on the subject of punitive justice: And for this reason. If virtue is knowledge, then it can be taught. Now while he was in this perplexity, Prometheus came to inspect the distribution, and he found that the other animals were suitably furnished, but that man alone was naked and shoeless, and had neither bed nor arms of defence.
The gods entrust Prometheus and Epimetheus to distribute to these animals their appropriate capabilities. A eunuch opens the door, takes one look at them, guesses they are Sophists, and slams the door in their faces d. Unfortunately, Prometheus did not give them political wisdom, for which reason they lived in scattered isolation and at the mercy of wild animals.
And I wish that you would, if possible, show me a little more clearly that virtue can be taught. But when the time came that these also should be created, the gods fashioned them out of earth and fire and various mixtures of both elements in the interior of the earth; and when they were about to bring them into the light of day, they ordered Prometheus and Epimetheus to equip them, and to distribute to them severally their proper qualities.
And when he had provided against their destruction by one another, he contrived also a means of protecting them against the seasons of heaven; clothing them with close hair and thick skins sufficient to defend them against the winter cold and able to resist the summer heat, so that they might have a natural bed of their own when they wanted to rest; also he furnished them with hoofs and hair and hard and callous skins under their feet.
Another example is that Pericles did not manage to impart his wisdom to his sons e. He says that if men were taught the art of calculating these things correctly, have a more exact knowledge that is, they would not act harmfully c—d. Not everyone would be successful though, as we can imagine, as some would have a greater natural inclination than others and often the son of a good flute player would turn out bad and vice versa.
On a first reading, the different sections of the dialogue may seem to have little to do with each other. Protagoras responds by giving a long speech about the creation of the world. The tale of Prometheus and Epimetheus Once upon a time there were gods only, and no mortal creatures.
But can such an art be taught? The characters[ edit ] Of the twenty-one people who are specifically said to be present, three are known Sophists.
Same goes for bravery. While Socrates seems to have won the argument, he points to the fact that if all virtue is knowledge, it can in fact be taught. Is it one thing, or many things? Socrates favors short answers and rapid questioning, while Protagoras prefers to be able to answer at length.
Simonides, on the other hand, claims that it is impossible to live without ever being a bad man, and even to be a good man on occasion is difficult a—45d.
But humans live as scattered individuals, defenseless against wild animals, because they have not come together as a community to fight off predators. Socrates says he could give more examples, but thinks his point is sufficiently established. And further, make a law by my order, that he who has no part in reverence and justice shall be put to death, for he is a plague of the state.
Thus, both Protagoras and Socrates end up arguing the opposite of their positions at the beginning of the text, and the dialogue ends with Socrates complaining about a missed appointment.
Do I understand you, I said; and is your meaning that you teach the art of politics, and that you promise to make men good citizens?
Socrates thus argues that the authority of Simonides does not stand against his understanding of virtue and whether anyone willingly does wrong. Some, however, are better than others at "showing the way to virtue" a ; and Protagoras claims that he is one of these people who can show the way.
And the Athenians, too, your own citizens, like other men, punish and take vengeance on all whom they regard as evil doers; and hence, we may infer them to be of the number of those who think that virtue may be acquired and taught.
Years later, the hero Heracles Hercules slayed the eagle and delivered Prometheus from this Sisyphean ordeal. There were some to whom he gave strength without swiftness, while he equipped the weaker with swiftness; some he armed, and others he left unarmed; and devised for the latter some other means of preservation, making some large, and having their size as a protection, and others small, whose nature was to fly in the air or burrow in the ground; this was to be their way of escape.
Courage, too, is therefore a form of knowledge.This essay reevaluates scholarship regarding the myth of Prometheus in Plato’s Protagoras and offers a new interpretation that focuses on the potential of Hermes as representative par excellence of the Protagorean, or, more generally, sophistic tradition.
I thus consider the messenger god’s. Classical World, vol.no.
2 () Pp– What About Hermes? A Reconsideration of the Myth of Prometheus in Plato’s Protagoras* SERGIO Yona ABSTRACT: This essay reevaluates scholarship regarding the myth of Prometheus in Plato’s Protagoras and offers a new interpretation that focuses on the potential of.
In the Myth of Prometheus (in Plato’s Protagoras) is an origin story that tells the story of how the Gods created all living creature on earth. Protagoras responds to Socrates's challenge (how can virtue be taught) by telling a story about the creation of the animals by the gods. The gods entrust Prometheus and Epimetheus to distribute to these animals their appropriate capabilities.
Epimetheus goes first, and doles out various attributes. The Protagoras is a strangely disjointed text.
On a first reading, the different sections of the dialogue may seem to have little to do with each other. In fact, connections do exist between these apparently disparate parts, although they tend not to be on the level of narrative, explicit.
What About Hermes? A Reconsideration of the Myth of Prometheus in Plato's Protagoras A Reconsideration of the Myth of Prometheus in Plato’s Protagoras* SERGIO Yona ABSTRACT: This essay reevaluates scholarship regarding the myth of Prometheus in Plato’s Protagoras and offers a new interpretation that focuses on the potential of .Download