The history of the term The received view traces back to an article by the phenomenologist Herbert Spiegelberg, originally published in for a translation of a revised version, see Spiegelberg It turns entirely on philosophical terminology: This account, even when considered simply a history of the terminology, is seriously mistaken.
A detailed and accessible study of relativism in its various forms by Chris Swoyer University of Oklahoma from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. It is long, but no longer than it need be to summarize this vital topic. Protagoras Plato's Critique Socrates opposed the Sophists, even though he was accused of being one himself and executed.
Plato picked up his mentor's battle against relativism and sophism in general, and Protagoras in particular. Plato's refutations given through the voice of Socrates in the dialogues often involve demonstrating how some main belief of a view leads to contraditions and absurdities.
The following passage provides an example of this sort of refutation as well as presenting one of Socrates' main tenets that developing truth through philosophical discussion is like giving birth.
Socrates likens himself to a midwife who assists in the birthing process. Thus, rather than giving theories and doctrines of his own, he acts as a facilitator to the intellectual growth of others. In the following pasage he is asisting young Theaetetus who is quite enamoured of Pprotagoras in the labor of giving life to his own ideas about knowledge.
Now he who knows perceives what he knows, and, as far as I can see at present, knowledge is perception. Bravely said, boy; that is the way in which you should express your opinion. And now, let us examin together this conception of yours, and see whether it is a true birth or a mere, wind-egg: Well, you have delivered yourself of a very important doctrine about knowledge; it is indeed the opinion of Protagoras, who has another way of expressing it, Man, he says, is the measure of all things, of the existence of things that are, and of the non-existence of things that are not: O yes, again and again.
Does he not say that things are to you such as they appear to you, and to me such as they appear to me, and that you and I are men? Yes, he says so. I am charmed with his doctrine, that what appears is to each one, but I wonder that he did not begin his book on Truth with a declaration that a pig or a dog-faced baboon, or some other yet stranger monster which has sensation, is the measure of all things; then he might have shown a magnificent contempt for our opinion of him by informing us at the outset that while we were reverencing him like a God for his wisdom he was no better than a tadpole, not to speak of his fellow-men-would not this have produced an over-powering effect?
For if truth is only sensation, and no man can discern another's feelings better than he, or has any superior right to determine whether his opinion is true or false, but each, as we have several times repeated, is to himself the sole judge, and everything that he judges is true and right, why, my friend, should Protagoras be preferred to the place of wisdom and instruction, and deserve to be well paid, and we poor ignoramuses have to go to him, if each one is the measure of his own wisdom?
Must he not be talking ad captandum in all this? I say nothing of the ridiculous predicament in which my own midwifery and the whole art of dialectic is placed; for the attempt to supervise or refute the notions or opinions of others would be a tedious and enormous piece of folly, if to each man his own are right; and this must be the case if Protagoras Truth is the real truth, and the philosopher is not merely amusing himself by giving oracles out of the shrine of his book.
On one level Socrates' argument seems abusive and silly, suggesting that the claim "Of all things the measure is Man" leaves out animals and other sensate beings. His point is that if knowledge is perception, then anything with any perception sensation at all is equally a measure of all things.
It seems that Protagoras might well respond that this is so, baboon reality is relative to their own perception, as it creates no special problem for the relativism.
Yet, Socrates is setting up a serious problem for relativism. Usually when someone claims to know the truth of a matter, especially a great and general principle, we may challenge them to give proof.
Protagoras is claiming to have a general principle that applies to everyone. In saying "Of all things the measure is Man, of the things that are, that they are, and of the things that are not, that they are not" Protagoras is not merely reporting how things appear to him or to a certain group of people.
Nor is he referring to some particular experience or phenomena. His book is titled Truth not "Truth for me. If it is true, then it is true for all of us, pigs and baboons included. Herein lies the problem. If Protagoras' claim is correct, then what could it mean for such a claim to be true?Plato’s attempted refutation of Protagoras, known as peritrope or “turning around”, is the first of the many attempts to show that relativism is self-refuting.
Protagorean relativism directly influenced the Pyrrhonian Skeptics, who saw the “man is the measure” doctrine as a precursor to their brand of skepticism. INTRODUCTION AND ANALYSIS The Republic of Plato is the longest of his works with the exception of the Laws, and is certainly the greatest of them.
And when all the world is telling a man that he is six feet high, and he has no measure, how can he believe anything else? But don’t get into a passion: to see our statesmen trying their.
Chronos, Psuche and Logos in Plato's Euthydemus. 25 Pages. or download with email. Chronos, Psuche and Logos in Plato's Euthydemus. Download. Chronos, Psuche and Logos in Plato's Euthydemus. interrupts” an argument to rescue Euthydemus from falling into self-refutation and at e6 where he quickly interrupts so “that Ctesippus.
is from Protagoras' admission that the Measure doctrine fails to give a generally valid theory of truth that Socrates finally infers that the doctrine is not true for Protagoras or for anyone else (17 1c).
assessing the force of Socrates’ argument against Protagoras’ ‘Measure Doctrine’ (MD) at Theaetetus a–c. I examine and self-refuting provided the missing qualifiers are restored by the attentive reader.
Having clarified the meaning of MD, I analyse in Protagoras Refuted How Clever is Socrates. McCready-Flora, Ian C., “Protagoras and Plato in Aristotle: Rereading the Measure Doctrine A Computer Analysis of Plato’s Style, and Leonard Brandwood, The Chronology of Plato’s Dialogues.