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What is a sophism? October 6, 2014

Posted by anagasto in language, philosophy.
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Common Examples:

“If we all spoke the same language, we would understand each other better and there would  be fewer wars.”  —

This is used by the Esperanto lobby. It does sound plausible, but it is based on  the double  meaning of “understand”.

When a kid says that his father doesn’t understand him the problem is psychological. They speak the same language.

When I cannot understand a foreigner, the problem is linguistic. We do not speak the same language..

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“The Earth cannot be round, because if it were round, the people on the other side would either fall off or hang on by their feet!” —

Well? It does sound plausible!

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“I have a degree in this field, so I have to know.” —

Maybe there is even a framed paper on the wall certifying the competence he has … in some part of his field, but not in all of it.

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Define
sophism

A fallacious argument, especially one used deliberately to deceive. —
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Sometimes what sounds like  sophistry is just error or ignorance that the speaker shares with his audience.

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Greek origin

Sophists taught argumentation with the intent to convince.

Sophist instructors were in great demand. They demonstrated their verbal skills to the delight of their audiences — think of magicians who make elephants disappear — and made a
pretty drachma from those who hired them as rhetoric instructors.

Based on http://groups.google.com/group/humanities.philosophy.objectivism/msg/9d951a0c0821eb71?hl=en

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Location_Greece_EU_Europe

Nice True Story Against Sophistry:

Proxenus was a general who had been educated by one of the famous Greek sophists. Thanks to that instruction, Proxenus was able to rule gentlemen by means of praise or abstention from praise. Yet he was unable to instill in his soldiers  respect and fear of  himself: he was unable to discipline them……
From http://archive.org/details/ Leo Strauss The City And Man 1963

Context Timeline

507 bc Athens becomes democratic
490 bc the Persians attack Greece and suffer defeat at Marathon
481 bc the Persians attack again and suffer naval defeat at Salamis
470 bc birth of Socrates
437 bc birth of Plato
399 bc execution of Socrates
384 bc birth of Aristotle
356 bc birth of Alexander the Great
323 bc death of Alexander

Greek philosophy, best short + clear presentation, about 3 pages, see http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/athenians.html

Greece, the Acropolis under a GNU license at http://en.wikivisual.com/index.php/Acropolis


Comments»

1. Carl D'Agostino - April 17, 2012

Then the White House and entire congress nd all apertures of USA government is of a sophist nature unrelated to any kind of truth. We laymen call them flim flam artists.


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