“Take that, Sophists!”: Plato’s Refutation of Skepticism and Relativism

Following in the footsteps of his beloved teacher and friend, Socrates, Plato devoted his life and thought to proving the Sophists wrong. In particular, he made it his mission to disprove their belief that no true knowledge was possible (skepticism) and that “man is the measure of all things” (relativism).

Examine the nature of this project (how does he do it?) and assess its success (does he manage it?). Be sure to explore at least one dialogue between Plato and a Sophist in order to examine his challenge to these thinkers in detail. As this is a short essay, it might help to narrow your focus to explore a single aspect of his philosophy (knowledge, reality, the soul, morality, etc.).

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Whichever topic you choose, please be as precise and detailed as you can, referring to both primary and secondary texts to substantiate and enrich your arguments; avoid vague generalizations and unsupported claims. Your essay should be about 750 words, double-spaced, properly formatted, and carefully proofread. A bibliography is necessary, and citations are required every time you quote or paraphrase (feel free to use whatever format you are most comfortable with).

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