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[360a] But which sort of men do you say are not willing to go to war, that being an honorable and good thing to do?

The cowardly, he replied.

Then, I went on, if it is honorable and good, is it also pleasant?

That certainly has been admitted, he said.

Now do the cowards wittingly refuse to go to what is more honorable, better, and pleasanter?

Well, if we admit that too, he replied, we shall undo our previous admissions.

But what of the courageous man? Does he not go to the more honorable and better and pleasanter? [360b] I am forced to admit that, he said.

Now, in general, courageous men do not feel base fears, when they fear, nor is there anything base in their boldness?

True, he said.

And if not base, then it must be honorable?

He admitted this.

And if honorable, then good?


And the cowardly and the bold and the mad, on the contrary, feel base fears and base boldness?

He agreed.

Do they feel base and evil boldness solely through stupidity and ignorance? [360c] Just so, he said.

Well now, the cause of cowards being cowardly, do you call this cowardice or courage?

Cowardice, I call it, he replied.

And were they not found to be cowards through ignorance of what is dreadful?

Certainly, he said.

And so they are cowards because of that ignorance?

He agreed.

And the cause of their being cowards is admitted by you to be cowardice?

He assented.

Then ignorance of what is dreadful and not dreadful will be cowardice?

He nodded assent.

But surely courage, I went on, [360d] is the opposite of cowardice.


Then the wisdom that knows what is and what is not dreadful is opposed to the ignorance of these things?

To this he could still nod assent.

And the ignorance of them is cowardice?

To this he nodded very reluctantly.

So the wisdom that knows what is and what is not dreadful is courage, being opposed to the ignorance of these things?

Here he could no longer bring himself to nod agreement, and remained silent. Then I proceeded: Why is it, Protagoras, that you neither affirm nor deny what I ask you?

Finish it, he said, by yourself. [360e] I must first ask you, I said, just one more question: Do you still think, as at the beginning, that there are any people who are most ignorant and yet most courageous?

I see, Socrates, you have set your heart on making me your answerer; so, to oblige you, I will say that by what we have admitted I consider it impossible.

My only motive, I then said, in asking all these questions has been a desire to examine the various relations of virtue and its own special nature.

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