Protagoras the Sophist Philosopher Named Term Paper

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This technique is extremely useful for the student because of the fact that the learners would be place in the position of having to recognize the limits to the extent of their own knowledge, and thereby get motivated to learn further and further. Systematic questioning, the usage of inductive thinking, and the personal formulation of definite definitions are all the hallmarks of the Socrates Method of learning.

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While it must be stated at this point that this method is definitely better suited for adult learners with some life experiences, and not for small children who have not yet experienced anything in their young lives, the Socrates Method present the learners with a scenario, after which the instructor presents the learners with a set of previously prepared questions. In this method, the learner's though processes are steered along pre-determined paths, and the student then uses his previous knowledge if any, on the subject, and also his prior experiences on the topic in order to arrive at a possible or probable solution to the problem being posed before them in a series of questions. After this, certain inductive techniques are used, wherein the learners are generally expected to move beyond mere details of the scenario into conceptualizing all its broader implications. This in fact helps the learner to comprehend the concepts better, and then when the instructor uses the pre- formulated questions to aid the student in creating and developing the rationale behind it, or the broader definition behind it, and in this method, the students are offered the opportunity to demonstrate their comprehensive understanding of the concepts involved in the topic or subject being taught. (Andragogy and the Socratic Method, the Adult learner Perspective)

Term Paper on Protagoras the Sophist Philosopher Named Assignment

Protagoras on the other hand, has demonstrated a restricted knowledge to sense experiences, and at the same time showed that whatever was perceived by one's sense would inevitably be true. The learners of the Protagoran Method therefore, would respond better to motivational changes and techniques involving them. These learners can be literally swept along on the tide caused by the excitement of learning new things, but the very real problem here is that their motivational levels would more often than not have to depend on the type of instructor that is motivating them; and the way in which the instructor is able to succeed in motivating his students. The instructor in this method must not only be the major motivating force for his students, but he must also be extremely supportive of his students, and must be able to keep up the student's enthusiasm and his excitement at a high level throughout the time when he is engaged in teaching. (Andragogy and the Socratic Method, the Adult learner Perspective)

The fact is that the followers of the Protagoran Method also approved of the Socrates Method because of the fact that the "Socrates method was a technique, which was able to bring out the knowledge that already exists in the class" and use it to teach those who did not have such knowledge. In fact, most students also felt that this was a method that actually helped them to learn many more things than ever before and in a much better manner as well. The problem with such learners is that these are students who in general feel that they are being criticized or humiliated, since they are extremely sensitive individuals. In Plato's 'Protagoras' the Protagoras is in fact concerned with a young Athenian named Hippocrates, who expressed his burning desire to enter into Athenian politics to Socrates, and therefore wanted to receive his instructions from the great Protagoras who happened to be visiting Athens at the time. Socrates however questions the fact of whether or not Protagoras would be a good teacher or instructor to Hippocrates. (Introduction: the Structure and the purpose of the Protogoras)

What follows is a discussion between Protagoras and Socrates on the things that he claims that he teaches, namely, virtue and excellence, and Socrates makes Protagoras contradict himself several times during the discussion, and Socrates believed that Protagoras was indeed the holder of inconsistent beliefs about the question of virtue. Therefore, one must note that this type of Socratic discussions in actuality serve as a test of competence for Protagoras, as well as for any other teacher and instructor, and when in this case, when Hippocrates wanted to find out whether the type of instruction that Protagoras would give would ultimately benefit his soul, he must give his proposed instructors to a philosophic Socratic discussion and examination. When Socrates questions Protagoras to find out whether he would be a suitable instructor for Hippocrates he proceeds to ask him whether he thinks that the various virtues of 'temperance, courage, piety, justice and wisdom' are all as much a part of virtue as the nose, eyes, mouth, etc. are parts of the face.

When Protagoras manages to answer that the parts of virtue are in fact analogous to each other and at the same time, quite unlike each other, and when the discussion continues after a break, Protagoras states that all the virtues are closely related, and also that courage is dissimilar. Finally, Protagoras seems to agree on something totally opposite to what he had initially claimed. Socrates therefore refutes Protagoras, and in the process, brought forth his own views. Therefore, finally, Socrates states that his discussions with Protagoras have in fact established nothing at all, and that he has not been able to settle on any one theory concerning virtue. One must however enquire of oneself whether or not Socrates is indeed justified in his claim that Hippocrates, if he is to realize his various goals, must trust in the Socratic method of philosophizing, and without asking if there is an error in the Socratic method. (Introduction: the Structure and the purpose of the Protogoras)


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