Protagoras’ Grand Speech is traditionally considered to articulate a contractualist approach to political existence and morality. There is, however, a newly emerging line of interpretation among scholars, which explores a naturalist layer in Protagoras’ ethical and political thought. This article aims to make a contribution to this new way of reading Protagoras’ speech, by discussing one of its most elaborate versions.
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Taylor (1976) translates: ‘They treated each other with injustice’ (italics added).
Mario Vegetti (2004) shares a similar view on this point. According to him the myth of Protagoras takes pleonexia and adikia as anthropological constants which are not completely irrecoverable. According to him both parts of Protagoras’ speech (that is the myth and the logos) underlines the need to control these two vices by law and education in order to promote the natural propensity of man for cooperation in the polis.
This is how Kerferd (1949) understands Protagoras’ idea that an expert improves his subject.