Socrates V Sophists

Topics: Philosophy, Rhetoric, Plato Pages: 2 (539 words) Published: October 23, 2011
Leslie Lynch
Epistemology is a division of philosophy beginning in ancient Greek times focusing on the nature of truth. The sophists, a group of philosophers from the earliest Greek times understood truth to be relative, therefore developed a view that there is no real truth, or knowledge for that matter. While on the other hand, Socrates, an early Greek thinker believed that truth is objective, it is what it is, and the opinion of any single individual could not change that truth. What I’ve come to understand while pondering these two conflicting philosophies is this, there is only one truth, and that is that there is no truth.

The sophists taught rhetoric, or persuasive speech. How to get what they want out of others in a practical way. They practiced rhetoric so that others would not find out the truth. Their art was to persuade the crowd and not to convince people of the truth. As there was no real paper available, there were no written contracts or deeds and disputes that would be settled today with a set of documents as evidence back then they would need to be settled through a contest of words: one person's words against another's. Whoever presented the best oral case would often prevail. To speak well was very important. Gifted with their speech, Generally, sophists where atheists, cynical about religious beliefs and all traditions. They also taught lifemanship, how to be successful. However, in order to be a student of this clever individuals, one must have the economic resources to be worthy. They made a business of education and profited well from it. While the sophists teachings where sensible, and encouraged men how to be triumphant, they began using there speech making aptitude to their advantage through criminal means. The sophists had no values other than winning and succeeding. The sophists were very well versed in the epic tales and poems. They were able to find the most appropriate quotation to support any position. They put the...
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