previous next
19. οὐδαμῶς, ἔφη. The argument is here broken off, and not (in its present form) again resumed. If Socrates had continued, Protagoras would doubtless have asserted that what is ὠφέλιμον for man is for him ἀγαθόν. The argument has therefore been: σωφρονεῖν, it is said, is ἀδικεῖν. But σωφρονεῖν = εὖ φρονεῖν = εὖ βουλεύεσθαι if (but only if) εὖ πράττειν (i.e. ὠφέλιμα πράττειν) accompanies εὐβουλία. In other words ὠφέλιμα πράττειν = ἀδικεῖν is the stage which we have reached—a thesis which it is the object of the Republic and of a large part of the Gorgias to refute.

πολλὰ οἶδ᾽ . The speech which follows may be from some work by Protagoras (so recently Zeller in the Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, V, 2, 177), perhaps his περὶ ἀρετῶν, mentioned by Diog. Laert. IX. 8. 55 (since ἀρετή is a general word for excellence). Zeller points out that just as the notion ‘true’ was conceived by Protagoras (in his πάντων μέτρον ἄνθρωπος) as relative, so here the notion ‘good’ is represented as relative and varying with that to which it is relative.

20. ἀνθρώποις μὲνὠφέλιμα: ἀνθρώποις μέν has no antithesis expressed: were the antitheses expressed in full, the sentence would be very cumbrous, running somewhat as follows: ἔγωγε πολλὰ οἶδ᾽ ἀνθρώποις μὲν <τὰ μὲν> ἀνωφελῆ ἐστί, καὶ σιτίαμυπία, <τοῖς δὲἄλλοις ζῴοις καὶ φυτοῖς ὠφέλιμα>, τὰ δέ γε ὠφέλιμα <τοῖς ἀνθρώποις, τοῖς δὲ ἄλλοις ἀνωφελῆ>. For μέν without a balancing clause see on τὸ μὲν καταγελασθῆναι in Euthyphr. 3C, and on 330Aabove for τὰ δέ without a preceding τὰ μέν. ἀνωφελῆ is ‘hurtful’, as frequently: see above on οἷον μὴ ὅσιον in 331A With Protagoras' classification of ὠφέλιμαἀνωφελῆοὐδέτερα cf. Gorg. 467E ἆρ᾽ οὖν ἔστιν τι τῶν ὄντων, οὐχὶ ἤτοι ἀγαθόν γ᾽ ἐστὶν κακὸν μεταξὺ τούτων οὔτε ἀγαθὸν οὔτε κακόν (where see Thompson's note) and below, 351D

23. οὐδενί: Schanz follows Naber in reading οὐδέσι against the MSS. both here and in Euthyd. 302C. The plural would be more appropriate here, but what is denied of all individuals is denied of the species, and the dative plural of οὐδείς seems to lack authority.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: