Protagoras’ Great Speech and Plato’s Defense of Athenian Democracy
The early Platonic dialogues are a rich source of information about the sophists; but scholars have long wondered how colored this information is by Plato’s perspective on them. Do these dialogues tell us more about Plato than about the characters he depicts in them? Should we read them as reliable historical documents or as examples of Platonic literature and philosophy? In this chapter I shall examine Protagoras’ ‘Great Speech’ in Plato’s Protagoras with some of these questions in mind. I shall begin by highlighting several features of its content; I shall then proceed to discuss its significance. I shall conclude by discussing the importance of the speech for Plato’s philosophy.
Prior, W. J. (2002). Protagoras’ Great Speech and Plato’s Defense of Athenian Democracy. In V. Caston and D. Graham (Eds.), Presocratic Philosophy: Essays in honour of Alexander Mourelatos. Ashgate Publishing Company, 313-326