Who is Hippias?June 25, 2021
One of the young sophists, Hippias (much younger than Protagoras, and therefore must have been born after 460), had been as ambassador to other Greek states, especially Sparta, and his speeches on this mission and on other occasions aroused admiration, so only Olympia’ He earned high wages even in the most remote cities of Sicily.
Among the sophists, Hippias was a typical encyclopedist who also included mathematics in his curriculum. It is understood that mathematics has already recognized its intangible pedagogical value. To his compiler style of work fr. 6 creates a characteristic example. He also stands out as a universal artist in a practical-technical sense; It is also said that he has a strong memory. It is “a uomo universale in the true sense of the word”. He is typical of ordinary sophists who have no ideas of their own, but who steal from every mood. His work “The Dialogue of Troy” shows common features with the parable of Prodikos in terms of moral-pedagogical orientation. However, on the other hand, he also gave serious attention to problems related to mathematics.
In Plato’s sophists (in the Protagoras dialogue), Hippias occasionally plays a minor role.
After Protagoras, the sage Hippias said: “You who are here, I think, are all close and kin, citizens of the same country—by nature, not by tradition—we are all. For the like is close to the like by nature; but tradition, which is the despot of people, forces many things against nature to be done.’
Hippias was one of the first to state that there was a natural equality and kinship between people. The reason for the deterioration of this inherent equality and kinship between people is not natural, but artificial. This equality is disrupted by laws that were created later by people. Although the laws violate the natural fraternity and equality between people, they cannot be considered bad in all respects. If laws are good, they are useful and should be maintained.
Hippias is also known as Hippias of Elis. He is one of the Greek Sophists. M.O. Born in Athens in the 5th century, Hippias is the younger peer of Protagoras and Socrates. As he was influential in the art of oratory, he also gave importance to mathematics. He did not develop a philosophy of his own, but effectively evaluated existing philosophical ideas. Hippias takes place in discussions on ethical issues in Plato’s dialogues. In the little Hippias dialogue, there is a discussion between Socrates and Hippias about the lie.
He contributed to mathematics with the quadratrix he invented to divide an angle into three equal parts.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook