Ignorance in Plato's Protagoras

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Ignorance is commonly assumed to be a lack of knowledge in Plato's Socratic dialogues. I challenge that assumption. In the Protagoras, ignorance is conceived to be a substantive, structural psychic flaw - the soul's domination by inferior elements that are by nature fit to be ruled. Ignorant people are characterized by both false beliefs about evaluative matters in specific situations and an enduring deception about their own psychic conditions. On my interpretation, akrasia, moral vices, and epistemic vices are products or forms of ignorance, and a person who lacks knowledge is not necessarily ignorant.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Liu, W

Published Date

  • January 1, 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 67 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 309 - 337

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1568-5284

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0031-8868

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1163/15685284-bja10058

Citation Source

  • Scopus