<philosophical terminology> Presocratic philosophers who offered to teach young Athenians how to use logic and rhetoric to defeat opponents in any controversy. Socrates and Plato sharply criticized most of the sophists because they accepted monetary rewards for encouraging unprincipled persuasive methods. Recommended Reading: W. K. C. Guthrie, The Sophists (Cambridge, 1971); The Older Sophists, ed. by Rosamond Kent Sprague (Hackett, 2001); The First Philosophers: The Presocratics and Sophists, ed. by Robin Waterfield (Oxford, 2000); and Susan C. Jarratt, Rereading the Sophists: Classical Rhetoric Refigured (Southern Illinois, 1998).

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]


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Nearby terms: solipsism « sophia « sophism « sophists » sophrosine » sorites » soul