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Plato's Protagoras, or the Sophists

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Toronto

Toronto, ON

Canada

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The Protagoras is as much a dramatic and literary masterpiece as it is an essential work of ancient philosophy. In the fifth century BC, masters of rhetoric called sophists traveled the Greek world claiming to teach virtue and the means to success, happiness, and power — in exchange for a fee. The dialogue depicts the pretensions of Protagoras, one of the leading and most revered sophists of the day, challenged by the critical arguments of a young Socrates as an excited flock of the sophist's students and admirers look on. Beginning with criticisms of the educational aims and methods of the sophists, the dialogue broadens out to examine the nature of the good life, the role of pleasure and reason in the context of that life, and the meaning of virtue.

Despite being counted as a sophist, Protagoras' genuine brilliance and sense of humanity makes him one of the most interesting and likeable of Socrates' opponents, and turns their encounter into a frank and lively battle of minds. Plato ultimately gives us deep and sympathetic portraits of both interlocutors — and neither seem to come off unscathed.

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The Toronto Philosophy Meetup is meeting to discuss this dialogue of Plato's. For further details and to RSVP, go to https://www.meetup.com/The-Toronto-Philosophy-Meetup/

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