Book Review, Platon – Protagoras

The book "Protagoras" describes the conversation between Socrates and the sophist Protagoras. Rather than conversation, perhaps it would be more accurate to call it a debate. Likewise, they disagree because Socrates is a "philosopher" and Protagoras is a "sophist".

The book “Protagoras” describes the conversation between Socrates and the sophist Protagoras. Rather than conversation, perhaps it would be more accurate to call it a debate. Likewise, they disagree because Socrates is a “philosopher” and Protagoras is a “sophist”.

While Socrates examines the subject by means of short question-answer dialogues, Protagoras speaks by defrauding the subject and making demagogy. Frankly, we can say that Protagoras’ speech is an “empty rhetoric”.

The story begins like this: Socrates’ friend Hippocrates (not the medical doctor) wants to become a student of Protagoras, and when he learns that Protagoras has come to the city, he asks Socrates to introduce him to Protagoras.

Worried about this situation of his friend, in his conversation with Protagoras Socrates reveals how Protagoras and other sophists like him are tricksters, fond of money and profit, that they are not really wise but deceive people with fancy words.

The dialogue generally proceeds as Socrates showing Protagoras’ ignorance.

I think this book is a very important book in terms of understanding the era in which Socrates lived. The book contains some wordplay, originating from Protagoras, but if you read an edition with explanotry subtexts, the subject is understandable. Still, it’s a bit tiring in this respect, again because of Protagaros himself.

I advise not to get into too much detail of the wordplays, which might be very frustrating and time consuming.

Emin Ali Ertenü
Emin Ali Ertenü
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