© 2017

Plato’s Protagoras

Essays on the Confrontation of Philosophy and Sophistry

  • Olof Pettersson
  • Vigdis Songe-Møller


  • Presents new approaches to Plato's Protagoras

  • Explores distinctions between sophistry and philosophy in Plato

  • Casts new light on philosophy and poetry in Plato


Part of the Philosophical Studies Series book series (PSSP, volume 125)

About this book


This book presents a thorough study and an up to date anthology of Plato’s Protagoras. International authors' papers contribute to the task of understanding how Plato introduced and negotiated a new type of intellectual practice – called philosophy – and the strategies that this involved. They explore Plato’s dialogue, looking at questions of how philosophy and sophistry relate, both on a methodological and on a thematic level.

While many of the contributing authors argue for a sharp distinction between sophistry and philosophy, this is contested by others. Readers may consider the distinctions between philosophy and traditional forms of poetry and sophistry through these papers. Questions for readers' attention include: To what extent is Socrates’ preferred mode of discourse, and his short questions and answers, superior to Protagoras’ method of sophistic teaching? And why does Plato make Socrates and Protagoras reverse positions as it comes to virtue and its teachability?

This book will appeal to graduates and researchers with an interest in the origins of philosophy, classical philosophy and historical philosophy.



Philosophy and sophistry Plato and poetry Plato and the dialogue form Plato's Protagoras Plato’s early dialogues Socrates and Protagoras Socrates and poetry Socrates and sophistry Socrates and the sophists Socratic philosophy

Editors and affiliations

  • Olof Pettersson
    • 1
  • Vigdis Songe-Møller
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of BergenBergenNorway
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

About the editors

Olof Pettersson is postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Philosophy, University of Bergen. Besides his dissertation on Plato’s notion of appetite, he is the author of several articles on Plato and is published in a range of international journals. His focus of research is ancient philosophy with a particular interest in Plato’s notion of non-argumentative means of influence and their linguistic underpinnings. Currently he works on a project on Plato’s critique of language.

Vigdis Songe-Møller is professor emerita at the Department of Philosophy, University of Bergen. She is author of Philosophy Without Women. The Birth of Sexism in Western Thought and two volumes on pre-Socratic philosophy. Her focus of research has been feminist interpretations of ancient Green texts, especially by Hesiod, Anaximander, Parmenides, and Plato. She leads the research project Poetry and Philosophy. Poetical and Argumentative Elements of Plato's Philosophy.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Plato’s Protagoras
  • Book Subtitle Essays on the Confrontation of Philosophy and Sophistry
  • Editors Olof Pettersson
    Vigdis Songe-Møller
  • Series Title Philosophical Studies Series
  • Series Abbreviated Title Philosophical Studies Ser.
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy Philosophy and Religion (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-45583-9
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-83324-8
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-45585-3
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages VI, 235
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Classical Philosophy
    History of Philosophy
  • Buy this book on publisher's site