Protagoras: Ancients in Action

Book Announcement: Protagoras: Ancients in Action (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015) ISBN: 9781472511119
Ideal for classes on History of Ethics, Western Civilization, and Ancient Philosophy
“In this short, elegant, and readable work, Daniel Silvermintz brings alive one of the most elusive and enigmatic thinkers of the ancient world.” – Steven B. Smith, Alfred Cowles Professor of Political Science, Yale University, USA,

About Protagoras
The presocratic philosopher Protagoras of Abdera (490–420 BC), founder of the sophistic movement, was famously agnostic towards the existence and nature of the gods, and was the proponent of the doctrine that ‘man is the measure of all things’. Still relevant to contemporary society, Protagoras is in many ways a precursor of the postmodern movement. In the brief fragments that survive, he lays the foundation for relativism, agnosticism, the significance of rhetoric, a pedagogy for critical thinking and a conception of the human being as a social construction.
This accessible introductory survey by Daniel Silvermintz covers Protagoras’ life, ideas and lasting legacy. Each chapter interprets one of the surviving fragments and draws connections with related ideas forwarded by other sophists, showing its relevance to an area of knowledge: epistemology, ethics, education and sociology.
Table of Contents
Notes on Sources
1. From Humble Beginnings to Celebrated Teacher
2. Protagoras and Pericles
3. Protagoras’ Secret Teaching
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