PDC Homepage

Home » Products » Purchase

The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 3, 1998

Ancient Philosophy

Jonathan Cohen
Pages 85-92

Philosophy is Education is Politics
A Somewhat Aggressive Reading of Protagoras 334d-338e

The passage in question begins with a breakdown in the discussion between Socrates and Protagoras because of disagreement about what its ground rules will be and concludes with the discussion’s restoration. Though formally a mere hiatus from the main line of argument, this passage in fact contains a parable about politics, addressing the question, "How can people of differing abilities and preferences come together to form a community?" Since the passage appears in the middle of a dialogue explicitly concerned with education, the parable extends to education as well. The passage thus provides a springboard for insight into some essential interconnections between and among philosophy, education, and politics. On the one hand, a genuine practitioner of any of the three is ipso facto a engaged in the other two at the same time. And on the other hand, the three share an internal structure which is reflexive and transitive at the same time.

Usage and Metrics
Dimensions
PDC