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2021, vol. 69, iss. 3, pp. 541-562
Transformation of the polis and two sophistic reflections: Protagoras and Callicles
University of Belgrade, Faculty of Political Sciences

emailmarko.simendic@fpn.bg.ac.rs
Keywords: Protagoras; Callicles; virtue; law; nature
Abstract
By comparing Protagoras' and Callicles' arguments, the author outlines two accounts that respond to the questions raised by the changing social realities of 5th century BC Athens. The two sophists' views are comprised of several complementary elements: 1) viewing humans as beings driven by pursuit of pleasures and avoidance of pain; 2) distinguishing law from nature; 3) views of morality as grounded in nature; 4) demanding that laws be adjusted to natural standards of justice and good life. A key point of disagreement can be found in Protagoras' myth, where he distinguishes between natural principles that apply only to humans and those that pertain to the rest of the natural world. This draws an important distinction between Protagoras and Callicles: Protagoras' democratic man seeking to influence the outcomes of collective political decision-making in an egalitarian community is contrasted by Callicles' aristocrat who is meant to freely govern over their inferiors.
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About

article language: Serbian
document type: Paper
DOI: 10.51204/Anali_PFBU_21303A
received: 31/07/2021
accepted: 30/08/2021
published in SCIndeks: 25/09/2021
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