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Protagoras and Democracy: Arete - Essay Example

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Protagoras and Democracy: Arete

Even with strong refutations from philosophers like Socrates, it is rational to say that excellence can be taught. Socrates argued that excellence and other virtues cannot be taught since they are gifts from God. Philosophers like Socrates believe that people cannot be educated to achieve excellence from the supervision of other people (Plato, Arieti & Barrus, Pp 57). He even challenges Protagoras to demonstrate how he can teach Hippocrates to become a better citizen. It is difficult to teach somebody to achieve excellence since it is not a single quality. Excellence is made up of many qualities, and this makes it difficult to be taught. It is difficult to teach excellence because some people are brilliant at some qualities while others are skilled in other qualities. There are different qualities of excellence, thus making it impossible to teach excellence. Excellence is difficult to be taught since people may decide what they want. For instance, Socrates argues that it is not possible for a person to be always faithful, but it is possible for a person to be bad. There are different qualities that make up excellence such as justice, wisdom and courage. This hinders the possibility of teaching excellence. It is difficult to teach excellence since people know what is correct and unpleasant, thus end up acting virtuously. Even when a person known what is admirable and unpleasant they end up doing something wrong. This is because they are challenged with the desire of pleasure of gratification (Plato, Arieti, & and Barrus, Pp 89). It is therefore, rational to say that actions that produce pleasure are therefore not always good if they result into pain. Individuals find actions to be bad if they do not give them permanent pleasure, as opposed to actions that will give them permanent pleasure. People get into immoral actions and find themselves in pain because they are unable to measure the quantity of pain and pleasure these actions may bring. It is possible to teach excellence as people are guided to become better people in life. For instance, Protagoras suggests that he will not teach Hippocrates any technical skills, but he will teach him how to become a better citizen. Excellence can be taught since people have a sense of justice and they know how justice can be achieved in the society. Human beings can achieve excellence through practice and following instructions carefully. For instance, Protagoras suggests that people who commit injustices should be punished to stop them from committing further injustices. When punishment is administered to these people they will deter from committing further injustices (Plato, Arieti, & and Barrus, Pp 105).It is through punishment that people will receive justice excellence. It is therefore, rational to say that excellence can be taught through practice and following instruction. Excellence is a single quality that combines virtues like justice, knowledge and moderation. This makes it to be possible to teach excellence to individuals who are ready and willing. Excellence is a complex quality, and this makes it be diverse. There are things that might be beneficial in some way, but they may appear deficient in other ways. Protagoras argues that it is easy and the same time difficult to be good. He further explains that there is a significant difference for a person being good and a person becoming good (Plato, Pp 32). It is possible t ...Show more
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Name Professor Course Date Protagoras and Democracy: Arete Introduction Socrates refuted that virtues like excellence could be taught to people, but Protagoras suggested that is possible to teach excellence. Excellence like any other virtue can be taught to individuals as supported by Protagoras…
Protagoras and Democracy: Arete
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