Volume 15, Issue 2, Spring 2011
Christopher P. Long
Crisis of Community
The Topology of Socratic Politics in the Protagoras
In Plato’s Protagoras Alcibiades plays the role of Hermes, the ‘ambassador god,’ who helps lead Socrates’ conversation with Protagoras through a crisis of dialogue that threatens to destroy the community of education established by the dialogue itself. By tracing the moments when Alcibiades intervenes in the conversation, we are led to an understanding of Socratic politics as always concerned with the course of the life of an individual and the proper time in which it might be turned toward the question of justice and the good.