tutorial2 - 1 PHIL 105-04 Tutorial 2 5 April 2011 Q1....

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1 PHIL 105-04 Tutorial 2 5 April 2011 Q1. According to Protagoras, each person is a measure of what is and what is not. He believes a wise man can be defined as one who recognizes both bad and good things and works to make good things appear for others. In the Cratylus , it is stated that Protagoreanism can be proven false considering some people may be wiser than others. Protagoras does not deny the existence of neither wisdom nor wise people but instead claims that appearances differ from one person to another’s perspective. From 166d-167a, Socrates tries to see things from Protagoras’ point of view. He declares that knowledge is for one person whatever that person may be experiencing at a given time. Each person’s experience does not necessarily have to be right or wrong in another’s eyes; people merely believe things to be as they perceive them. Furthermore, each person’s personal experience is always true. The weather is a good example of differing perceptions because at any given time, one person may believe it is cold outside while another is at a comfortable temperature. Neither person is wiser than the other because both are simply stating their personal observations. If what one is experiencing is always true, then Protagoreanism is also true. Protagoreanism states that man is the measure of all things. In the Cratylus , Protagoreanism is contradicted through the belief that some people may be wiser than others. In other words, if two people have differing opinions on a certain topic, only one of the two can be right. Therefore, if one person says a gust of wind is cold and the other says it is comfortable, only one of the two can be right although they are both stating their perceptions. In this case, the one with the incorrect observation is being deceived by his
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2 or her senses. According to Protagoras, the wiser of the two observers is the one who observes all possible perceptions. With those perceptions, the wise man is able to decide which would be better for others and work towards displaying it for them. In this case, the wiser of the two men could feel the gust as both cold and comfortable. He would then say that the gust is a comfortable temperature, and others would trust his observation as the correct one given he is reputably wise. Protagoreanism finds the middle ground between the two observers by stating that, although one may be generally wiser than the other, the observations of both at any given time can both be true. Q2. Protagoras’ theorizes that man has the criterion of all things within himself. In other words, whatever he thinks something to be is how that thing really is for him. At first, Socrates defends Protagoras’ claim, stating that whatever any man perceives is true for that man. However, this claim is limited to events occurring in the present because, for an observer of the present, neither the past nor future exists. From 178b-179b, Socrates argues that Protagoreanism could be proven false when considering things that
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This note was uploaded on 09/14/2011 for the course PHIL 105 taught by Professor Johnson during the Spring '10 term at Saint Louis.

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tutorial2 - 1 PHIL 105-04 Tutorial 2 5 April 2011 Q1....

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