1. The ‘good’ of a human being is his functioning well as a man,
2. To function well as a man in the city state is to be a successful citizen,
3. To be a successful citizen is to impress in the assembly and law courts,
4. To succeed there it is necessary to conform to the prevailing conventions as to what is just, right and fitting.
5. Each state has its own conventions on these matters.
6. What one must do therefore is to study prevailing conventions and learn to adapt one’s self to them, so as to
mould one’s hearers successfully.
7. This is the craft, the skill, which it is the business and the virtue of a sophist to teach.
8.It is a presupposition of this teaching that there is no criterion of virtue, as such, apart from
& No criterion of justice as such, apart from the dominant practice of each particular city.
Socrates’ view is that no special instruction is required to participate in the assembly, unlike instruction that is required for
jobs, (ie. ship-building) so therefore virtue, or civic virtue, cannot be taught.
Protagoras disagrees, telling the story of the distribution of qualities amongst the animals in which humans, being
not blessed with many physical attributes, gave us practical wisdom such as fire. Zeus then distributed justice and
respect amongst the proliferating communities, ordered a law to maintains social norms.
oPunishment oriented towards the future, to alter future behavior. Instills in them the qualities of justice
and piety, confers civil virtue. Citizens can be changed for the better.
oCivic virtue is gained through living with the family, the education system, and then the community as a
oVirtue is indeed teachable, because the social and political system is based on the fact that virtue can be
oProblem with his argument, he is presupposing that virtue is teachable, uses that to argue that it is.
As opposed to the professions, who should not all claim to be experts; no one should claim to be unjust. In the
assembly, one must at least pretend to be just. Socrates argues that one must have at least a bit of justice, or one is
not human. This is because of what Zeus did.
oIs it possible that some citizens are not human? Or that they aren’t “perfect” in justice?
oIf degrees of justice exist, one must pretend to be perfect.
In terms of degrees of virtue:
oAbsolute qualifications: being full; being consistent; being preganant.
oNon-absolute (relative) qualifications: being tall/short; cold/hot.
Is being just, or being good, absolute or relative?
Afflictions or evils, not of the moral kind, are things which cause illness or pain. Nobody is punished due to these
evils, for they have their source in nature or bad luck.
When one is trained, the blame all on the self.
Not living virtuously within society is an evil.
Parent does his best.
Seeee audio. Got tired.
Socratic Arguments for Identity of the Virtues
Socrates counters Protagoras by challenging his idea of virtue.
Justice and piety are unities:
1) Justice is a particular thing (330c).
2) Justice, itself, is just, not unjust.
3) Piety is a particular thing.