The Theme Of Virtue In Plato's Protagoras

810 Words4 Pages
Plato’s Protagoras is a dialogue of much debate that allows for the readers to look further and to bring into question the argument on virtue for themselves. It is not something to be taken whole-heartedly since Plato is throwing different theories about virtue around in this dialogue. Socrates, one of the main characters was always fixated on virtue, especially the concept of defining and teaching virtue, and whether or not it can actually be taught. However, one must keep in mind that Socrates is not Plato and this is a work of fiction. Since in this writing the character of Socrates is inconclusive and contradictory, the reader becomes under the impression that virtue may actually be taught and in order to understand virtue one must know…show more content…
In the Protagoras, this question about virtue takes the form of a lengthy attempt by Socrates to prove that what are commonly thought of as separate virtues—courage, temperance, holiness, justice and wisdom—are in fact simply different names for the same thing (Plat. Prot. 329c). Virtue is a single thing, namely teachable wisdom concerning pleasure and pain or good and bad. The good life is marked by…show more content…
Eisele in his article ‘Must Virtue Be Taught?’ he states that indeed it can because even though the main theory is that virtue is knowledge and that it may be taught, there is no one to fully comprehend and define what virtue is and share the understanding of it with others. Eisle presents an insightful new theory that Socrates knows what virtue is and how to teach it because he is the best example of it. With virtue being equivalent to excellence, Eisle argues that Socrates ‘performs excellence in his incessant questioning and questing’ (Eisle, 1987:
Open Document