When at a loss for good reasons, he had recourse to sophistry; and when heated by altercation, he made unsparing use of sarcasm and invective.
They are a strange blend of sophistry, superstition, sound sense and solid argument.
The wheel being her symbol she was the patron saint of wheelwrights and mechanics; as the confounder of heathen sophistry she was invoked by theologians, apologists, preachers and philosophers, and was chosen as the patron saint of the university of Paris; as the most holy and illustrious of Christian virgins she became the tutelary saint of nuns and virgins generally.
Indeed, the author of this article finds in the writings of Plato a grave and discriminating study of the several forms of sophistry, and no trace whatsoever of that blind hostility which should warrant us in neglecting his clear and precise evidence.
Moreover, he compared dialectic and sophistry, on account of their generality, with primary philosophy in the Metaphysics (P 2, 1004 b 17-26); to the effect that all three concern themselves with all things, but that about everything metaphysics is scientific, dialectic tentative, sophistry apparent, not real.
- Sophistry arose out of a crisis in philosophy.
It would seem then that even in its decline sophistry had its educational use.
The renewal of interest in classical literature was shown in the prohibition of the study of sophistry by any scholar under the age of eighteen, unless he had been pronounced proficient in grammaticals.
Man's utter incapacity to do anything to please God, and his utter personal dependence on God's grace seemed to render the whole system of the Church well-nigh gratuitous even if it were purged of all the " sophistry " which to Luther seemed to bury out of sight all that was essential in religion.
It is drawn up after Greek models, in the taste of the rhetoric and sophistry of the later imperial period.
Now skill in disputation is plainly a valuable accomplishment; and, as the Aristotelian logic grew out of the regulated discussions of the eristics and their pupils, the disputant sophistry of the 4th century deserves more attention and.
Indeed, the sophists generally had a special predisposition to error of this sort, not only because sophistry was from the beginning a substitute for the pursuit of truth, but also because the successful professor, travelling from city to city, or settling abroad, could take no part in public affairs, and thus was not at every step reminded of the importance of the " material " element of exposition and reasoning.
Hence, despite its original popularity, eristical sophistry could not hold its ground.
In order to complete this sketch of the development of sophistry in the latter half of the 5th century and the earlier half of the 4th, it is necessary next to take account of Socrates and the Socratics.
The Socratics) dialectic; (3) that the differences between the different groups of sophists were not inconsiderable, and that in particular the teaching of the rhetoricians was distinct in origin, and, in so far as its aim was success in a special walk of life, distinct in character, from the more general teaching of the sophists of culture, the eristics, and the dialecticians, while the teaching of the dialecticians was discriminated from that of the rest, in so far as the aim of the dialecticians was truth, or at least the bettering of opinion; and, consequently, (4) that, in awarding praise and blame to sophistry and its representatives, the distinctive characteristics of the groups above enumerated must be studiously kept in view.
Lapse of time and change of circumstances brought with them not merely changes in the subjects taught, but also changes in the popular estimate of sophistry and sophists.
That sophistry must be studied in its historical development was clearly seen by Plato, whose dialogue called the Sophist contains a formal review of the changing phases and aspects of sophistical teaching.
" and that the various definitions represent different stages or forms of sophistry as conceived from different points of view.
The fifth and sixth definitions represent the close of the 5th century, when sophistry handled eristically, and perhaps, though Plato demurs to the inclusion, dialectically, questions of justice, injustice and the like, Su
Relations of Sophistry to Education, Literature and Philosophy.
With these considerable merits, normal sophistry had one defect, its indifference to truth.
The relation of sophistry to philosophy was throughout one of pronounced hostility.
Amongst the many merits of that admirable scholar, it is one of the greatest that he has laid " the fiend called die Sophistik," that is to say, the theory that sophistry was an organized conspiracy against law and morals.
Contrariwise, the sophists were always and essentially professors of the higher education; and, although in process of time specialization assimilated sophistry to the arts, at the outset at any rate, its declared aim - the cultivation of the civic character - sufficiently distinguished sophistical education both from professional instruction and from artistic training: It is true too that in some of the colonies philosophy had busied itself with higher education; but here again the forerunners of the sophists are easily distinguished from the sophists, since the sophists condemned not only the scientific speculations of their predecessors, but also their philosophical aims, and offered to the Greek world a new employment for leisure, a new intellectual ambition.
Various as were the phases through which sophistry passed between the middle of the 5th century and the middle of the 4th, the sophists - Socrates himself being no exception - had in their declared antagonism to philosophy a common characteristic; and, if in the interval, philosophical speculation being temporarily suspended, scepticism ceased for the time to be peculiar, at the outset, when Protagoras and Gorgias broke with the physicists, and in the sequel, when Plato raised the cry of " back to Parmenides," this common characteristic was distinctive.
It would seem, then, that, while he regards rhetoric as the function of normal sophistry, taking indifferently as his types Protagoras, Gorgias and Isocrates, he accounts Euthydemus and Dionysodorus (together with Socrates) as sophists, but as sophists of an abnormal sort, who may therefore be neglected.
Now this view is inconsistent with the evidence of Plato, who, in the Sophist, in his final and operative definition, gives prominence to the eristical element, and plainly accounts it the main characteristic not indeed of the sophistry of the 5th century, but of the sophistry of the 4th.
There is, however, another theory of the significance of Plato's allusions to eristical sophistry, that of Professor H.
But he cannot allow either that the Megarians and the Cynics were the only eristics, or that eristical sophistry began with Socrates.
While he emphasizes in the later sophists the consequences of the fundamental error of sophistry - its indifference to truth - he does honour to the genius and the originality of the leaders of the movement.
The sophistry of English party politics that it was difficult for Englishmen to form any impartial opinion.
Each of these predominated in its turn, though not to the exclusion of others, the sophistry of culture beginning about 447, and leading to the sophistry of eristic, and the sophistry of rhetoric taking root in central Greece about 427, and merging in the sophistry of politics.
The sophistical movement was then, primarily, an attempt to provide a general or liberal education which should supplement the customary instruction in reading, writing, gymnastic and music. But, as the sophists of the first period chose for their instruments grammar, style, literature and oratory, while those of the second and third developments were professed rhetoricians, sophistry exercised an important influence upon literature.
Then again, as the movement, taking its rise in the philosophical agnosticism which grew out of the early physical systems, was itself persistently sceptical, sophistry may be regarded as an interlude in the history of philosophy.
In this stage of sophistry then, the sophist, though not a specialist, trenched upon the provinces of specialists; and accordingly Plato (Prot.
In this polymath we see at once the degradation of the sophistry of culture and the link which connects Protagoras and Prodicus with the eristics, who at a later period taught, not, like Hippias, all branches of learning, but a universally applicable method of disputation.
That he should do so was only natural, since his position as a teacher of rhetoric was already secure when Protagoras made his first appearance in the character of a sophist; and, as Protagoras, Prodicus and the rest of the sophists of culture offered a comprehensive education, of which oratory formed only a part, whilst Gorgias made no pretence of teaching " civic excellence " (Plato, Meno, 95 C), and found a substitute for philosophy, not in literature generally, but in the professional study of rhetoric alone, it would have been convenient if the distinction between sophistry and rhetoric had been maintained.
Rhetorical sophistry, as taught by Gorgias with special reference to the requirements of the law courts, led by an easy transition to political sophistry.
While the sophistry of rhetoric led to the sophistry of politics, the sophistry of culture led to the sophistry of disputation.
The first and most obvious sentiment which sophistry evoked was an enthusiastic and admiring interest.
Of the two conflicting sentiments, the favour of the young, gaining as years passed away, naturally prevailed; sophistry ceased to be novel, and attendance in the lecture-rooms of the sophists came to be thought not less necessary for the youth than attendance in the elementary schools for the boy.
Whereas, when sophistry began, prose composition was hardly practised in central Greece, the sophists were still the leaders in literature and oratory when Plato wrote the Republic, and they had hardly lost their position when Demosthenes delivered the Philippics.
But, although Protagoras and Gorgias had examined the teaching of their predecessors so far as to satisfy themselves of its futility and to draw the sceptical inference, their study of the great problem of the day was preliminary to their sophistry rather than a part of it; and, as the overthrow of philosophy was complete and the attractions of sophistry were all-powerful, the question " What is knowledge?
- The post-Platonic historians and critics, who, while they knew the earlier sophistry only through tradition, were eyewitnesses of the sophistry of the decadence, were more alive to the faults than to the virtues of the movement.
And, though the modern critic will not be prepared with Plato to deny the name of education to all teaching which is not based upon an ontology, it may nevertheless be thought that normal sophistry - as opposed to the sophistry of Socrates - was in various degrees unsatisfactory, in so far as it tacitly or confessedly ignored the " material " element of exposition by reasoning.