Protagoras: The First Political Philosopher?

Protagoras: The First Political Philosopher? Daniel SilvermintzProtagoras. Ancients in Action. London; New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016. xiii + 93 pp. $25.95. isbn 9781472510921 (pbk).In Protagoras, Daniel Silvermintz aims to establish three points about Protagoras of Abdera (ca. 490-420 bce), all of them basically ‘political’:Protagoras was the first philosopher of politics, democracy, and human nature.Protagoras influenced Pericles in a way that contributed directly to his abuse of power.Protagoras had an esoteric immoralist teaching about self-interested power.Silvermintz mostly tables the usual epistemic and linguistic issues concerning Protagoras – that is to say, the conventional philosophical debates – including the way we should read and evaluate his doctrine of man-as-measure and his assertion about the impossibility of contradiction.1 He does acknowledge the importance of Protagoras’ relativism, positing its relevance both to his democratic thinking and to his teachings of cynical self-interest.2 But he focuses on the political content itself. Perhaps he judges this to be Protagoras’ lasting influence, and his publisher’s ‘Ancients in Action’ series charges its authors to depict the ‘significance for later western civilization’; or perhaps he finds this material more accessible to the lower-level undergraduates to which he has apparently pitched this short and breezy book. It does at any rate provide a pleasant http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek Political Thought Brill

Protagoras: The First Political Philosopher?

Loading next page...
 
/lp/brill/protagoras-the-first-political-philosopher-jgFZR0clRb
Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0142-257x
eISSN
2051-2996
DOI
10.1163/20512996-12340147
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Daniel SilvermintzProtagoras. Ancients in Action. London; New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016. xiii + 93 pp. $25.95. isbn 9781472510921 (pbk).In Protagoras, Daniel Silvermintz aims to establish three points about Protagoras of Abdera (ca. 490-420 bce), all of them basically ‘political’:Protagoras was the first philosopher of politics, democracy, and human nature.Protagoras influenced Pericles in a way that contributed directly to his abuse of power.Protagoras had an esoteric immoralist teaching about self-interested power.Silvermintz mostly tables the usual epistemic and linguistic issues concerning Protagoras – that is to say, the conventional philosophical debates – including the way we should read and evaluate his doctrine of man-as-measure and his assertion about the impossibility of contradiction.1 He does acknowledge the importance of Protagoras’ relativism, positing its relevance both to his democratic thinking and to his teachings of cynical self-interest.2 But he focuses on the political content itself. Perhaps he judges this to be Protagoras’ lasting influence, and his publisher’s ‘Ancients in Action’ series charges its authors to depict the ‘significance for later western civilization’; or perhaps he finds this material more accessible to the lower-level undergraduates to which he has apparently pitched this short and breezy book. It does at any rate provide a pleasant

Journal

Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek Political ThoughtBrill

Published: Apr 12, 2018

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off