Friday, October 16, 2015
Protagoras by Plato
Socrates method of dialogue or philosophical inquiry is called the elenchus. Essentially the person engaged in the dialogue with Socrates, in this case Protagoras, asserts a thesis, and in the case of Protagoras, he starts with the assertion that he can make anyone he teaches a good citizen. Socrates asks a number of clarifying questions and then moves to securing the agreement to a second premise, one that is linked to the first. Socrates then argues, and works to get the other person to agree, that what this further premise, or group of premises imply end up being in contradiction to the original thesis. Socrates then claims that he has demonstrated that the persons original statement or thesis is false. He is kind of annoying about it, but the progression of the dialogue is in and of itself quite fascinating.