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Protagoras's pupil
#1
Protagoras's pupil
This paradox, which has its foundation - real or legendary - in antiquity concerns the sophist Protagoras, who lived and taught in the fifth century BC. It is said that Protagoras made an arrangement with one of his pupils whereby the pupil was to pay for his instruction after he had won his first case. The young man completed his course, hung up the traditional shingle, and waited for clients. None appeared. Protagoras grew impatient and decided to sue his former pupil for the amount owed him.

'For,' argued Protagoras, 'either I win this suit, or you win it. If I win, you pay me according to the judgment of the court. If you win, you pay me according to our agreement. In either case I am bound to be paid.'

'Not so,' replied the young man. 'If I win, then by the judgment of the court I need not pay you. If you win, then by our agreement I need not pay you. In either case I am bound not to have to pay you.'

Whose argument was right?
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#2
RE: Protagoras's pupil
Surely this is shifting the power of the courts? Both are relying on the court's decision when it falls in their favour, but not when it falls with the other.

So if the court decides the student should pay, the student should pay. If the court decides the student shouldn't pay, he shouldn't.
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#3
RE: Protagoras's pupil
But surely the pupil should honour his agreement?
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#4
RE: Protagoras's pupil
If the court decides he shouldn't, then it's overridden the earlier promise. That is the point of a court isn't it? To resolve disputes.
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#5
RE: Protagoras's pupil
If he lost, the pupil wouldn't owe the teacher an money other than the settlement
If he won, the pupil would only owe the arrangement

I he wins, the pupil owes nothing to the teacher because of the settlement
If he loses, the pupil owes the settlement

The young man's reply is false right here "If you win, then by our agreement I need not pay you." he is leaving out being payed by the settlement.


My synopsis is the teacher if winning would get nothing because by his own rules he is owed nothing. If the student wins then he would still owe for the arrangement, because during the case there is nothing owed to the teaches, until he wins. Another suit could then be filed for compensation.
"There ought to be a term that would designate those who actually follow the teachings of Jesus, since the word 'Christian' has been largely divorced from those teachings, and so polluted by fundamentalists that it has come to connote their polar opposite: intolerance, vindictive hatred, and bigotry." -- Philip Stater, Huffington Post

always working on cleaning my windows- me regarding Johari
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#6
RE: Protagoras's pupil
Philosophically this is an interesting question, realistically it breaks down to the fact that the money will change hands on the whim of the pupil. The contract is an actionable item but even if the teacher wins the case the pupil could still default leaving the teacher with no recourse. Of course he could file a claim with the Better Business Bureau that could harm the reputation of the pupil thereby putting pressure on him to pay up, but most clients would probably not go the BBB so it really wouldn't cost the pupil anything. It is all dependent on the laws of the state and the will of the courts.

Rhizo

PS If this case were argued in front of Judge Judy the teacher would win and get nothing from the settlement but both people would be paid for their appearance on TV.
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#7
RE: Protagoras's pupil
As I see it still, both are using the decision of the court to their own favour only when it falls in their favour, and ignoring it the rest of the time:

Protagoras
WINS: Student has to pay him by order of the court.
LOSES: Student has to pay him by his original agreement.

Student
WINS: Student doesn't have to pay by order of the court.
LOSES: Student doesn't have to pay by the original agreement.

So in both situations, you could choose to follow the order of the court, or the original agreement. However, the court is meant to resolve disputes, and has the power to override any previous agreements, ruling in favour of one of the parties. So with this in mind, the situation should be:

Protagoras
WINS: Student has to pay him by order of the court.
LOSES: Student doesn't have to pay him (by order of the court).

Student
WINS: Student doesn't have to pay by order of the court.
LOSES: Student has to pay (by order of the court).
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#8
RE: Protagoras's pupil
This doesn't make any sense at all to me...

Darwinian Wrote:This paradox, which has its foundation - real or legendary - in antiquity concerns the sophist Protagoras, who lived and taught in the fifth century BC. It is said that Protagoras made an arrangement with one of his pupils whereby the pupil was to pay for his instruction after he had won his first case. The young man completed his course, hung up the traditional shingle, and waited for clients. None appeared. Protagoras grew impatient and decided to sue his former pupil for the amount owed him.
Protagoras arranged with the student that he would receive his pay after the student won his first case. If the student has not yet had a case, then the student could not have won his case yet, and thus Protagoras must go unpaid until the student wins his case.

This is not a paradox... it's just Protagoras being ridiculous and the student being stupid.
Quote:'For,' argued Protagoras, 'either I win this suit, or you win it. If I win, you pay me according to the judgment of the court. If you win, you pay me according to our agreement. In either case I am bound to be paid.'

'Not so,' replied the young man. 'If I win, then by the judgment of the court I need not pay you. If you win, then by our agreement I need not pay you. In either case I am bound not to have to pay you.'

Whose argument was right?
The judgement of the court can only go one way by the former agreement Protagoras made. If the student wins this case against him (which he would)... then Protagoras must be paid because the student won his first case (that being this silly suing). Protagoras cannot win his case because of his former arrangement, which states quite clearly that he is to go unpaid until the student wins his first case.

Therefore Protagoras will be paid as according to the agreement, but he cannot win this case.
Please give me a home where cloud buffalo roam
Where the dear and the strangers can play
Where sometimes is heard a discouraging word
But the skies are not stormy all day
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#9
RE: Protagoras's pupil
Yeah, the student owes Protagoras money, just because he doesent have to pay until his first win doesent mean he doesent have to pay at all.
Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

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#10
RE: Protagoras's pupil
(March 17, 2010 at 4:59 pm)theblindferrengi Wrote: Yeah, the student owes Protagoras money, just because he doesent have to pay until his first win doesent mean he doesent have to pay at all.

Protagora is being impatient. He made an agreement that could never even occur. He should learn from his own idiocy for not thinking his logic through.

It means exactly that he should never be paid until the conditions of the agreement are met (those being that the student wins his first case). If this never occurs... then he should never be paid. It only stands to reason that the only way Protagoras can be paid is if the student wins his first case.
Please give me a home where cloud buffalo roam
Where the dear and the strangers can play
Where sometimes is heard a discouraging word
But the skies are not stormy all day
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