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The Sophists

A series of articles 1.Sophism: from Wikipedia 2.Sophists: by George Briscoe Kerferd 3.The Seven Sages of Greece 4. Philodorian

1. Sophism: from Wikipedia
Sophism was originally a term for the techniques taught by a highly respected group of philosophy and rhetoric teachers in ancient Greece. The derogatory modern usage of the word, suggesting an invalid argument designed to appeal to emotion, is not necessarily representative of the beliefs of the original Sophists, except that they generally taught Rhetoric. The Sophists are known today only through the writings of their opponents (specifically Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle), which makes it difficult to formulate a complete view of the Sophists' beliefs. Origins The meaning of the word sophist (gr. sophistès) has changed greatly over time. Initially, a sophist was someone who gave sophia to his disciples, i. e. wisdom made from knowledge. It was a highly complimentary term, applied to early philosophers such as the Seven Wise Men (Sages) of Greece. In the second half of the 5th century B.C., and especially at Athens, "sophist" came to be applied to a group of thinkers who employed debate and rhetoric to teach and disseminate their ideas and offered to teach these skills to others. Due to the importance of such skills in the litigious social life of Athens, acclaimed teachers of such skills often commanded very high fees. The practice of taking fees, coupled with the willingness of many practitioners to use their rhetorical skills to pursue unjust lawsuits, eventually led to a decline in respect for practitioners of this form of teaching and the ideas and writings associated with it. Protagoras is generally regarded as the first sophist. Other leading 5th-century sophists included Gorgias and Prodicus. Socrates was perhaps the first philosopher to significantly challenge the Sophists. By the time of Plato and Aristotle, "sophist" had taken on negative connotations, usually referring to someone who used rhetorical sleight-of-hand and ambiguities of language in order to deceive, or to support fallacious reasoning. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle all challenged the philosophical foundations of sophism. Eventually, the school was accused of immorality by the state. In modern philosophical usage, sophistry is a derogatory term for rhetoric that is designed to appeal to the listener on grounds other than the strict logical validity of the statements being made. The Sophists held a relativistic view on cognition and knowledge. Their philosophy contains criticism of Religion, law and ethics. Though many sophists were as religious as their contemporaries, some held atheistic or agnostic views. Unfortunately most of the original texts written by the sophists have been lost, and modern understanding of sophistic movement comes from analysis of Plato's writings. It is necessary to keep in mind that Plato and the sophists had severe ideological differences, and Plato might have benefited from modifying or slanting the original sophistic arguments when he presented them in his writings (ironically, a sophistic technique at work), or may even not have fully understood their arguments himself. An excellent book on the topic is "The Sophistic Movement" by G. B. Kerferd. In the Roman Empire, sophists were just professors of rhetoric. For instance, Libanius, Himerius, Aelius Aristides and Fronto were considered sophists in this sense. Reconstruction of Sophist philosophy

In traditional logical argument, a set of premises are connected together according to the rules of logic and lead therefore to some conclusion. When someone criticizes the argument, they do so by pointing out either falsehoods among the premises or logical fallacies, flaws in the logical scaffolding. These criticisms may be subject to counter-criticisms, which in turn may be subject to counter-counter-criticisms, etc. Generally, some judge or audience eventually either concurs with or rejects the position of one side and thus a consensus opinion of the truth is arrived at. The essential claim of sophistry is that the actual logical validity of an argument is irrelevant; it is only the ruling of the audience which ultimately determine whether a conclusion is considered "true" or not. By appealing to the prejudices and emotions of the judges, one can garner favorable treatment for one's side of the argument and cause a factually false position to be ruled true. The philosophical Sophist goes one step beyond that and points out that since it was traditionally accepted that the position ruled valid by the judges was literally true, any position ruled true by the judges must be considered literally true, even if it was arrived at by naked pandering to the judges' prejudices — or even by bribery. Critics would argue that this claim relies on a straw man caricature of logical discourse and is, in fact, a self-justifying act of sophistry. Various (perhaps even most) politicians employ sophistry, as well.

2. Sophists
By George Briscoe Kerferd Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return for fees. History of the name The term sophist (Greek sophistes) had earlier applications. It is sometimes said to have meant originally simply “clever” or “skilled man,” but the list of those to whom Greek authors applied the term in its earlier sense makes it probable that it was rather more restricted in meaning. Seers, diviners, and poets predominate, and the earliest Sophists probably were the “sages” in early Greek societies. This would explain the subsequent application of the term to the Seven Wise Men (7th–6th century BC), who typified the highest early practical wisdom, and to Pre-Socratic philosophers generally. When Protagoras, in one of Plato's dialogues (Protagoras, 317 a–b) is made to say that, unlike others, he is willing to call himself a Sophist, he is using the term in its new sense of “professional teacher,” but he wishes also to claim continuity with earlier sages as a teacher of wisdom. Plato and Aristotle altered the meaning again, however, when they claimed that professional teachers such as Protagoras were not seeking the truth but only victory in debate and were prepared to use dishonest means to achieve it. This produced the sense “captious or fallacious reasoner or quibbler,” which has remained dominant to the present day. Finally, under the Roman Empire the term was applied to professors of rhetoric, to orators, and to prose writers generally, all of whom are sometimes regarded as constituting what is now called the Second Sophistic movement. The 5th-century Sophists The names survive of nearly 30 Sophists properly so called, of whom the most important were Protagoras, Gorgias, Antiphon, Prodicus, and Thrasymachus. Plato protested strongly that Socrates was in no sense a Sophist—he took no fees, and his devotion to the truth was beyond question. But from many points of view he is rightly regarded as a rather special member of the movement. The actual number of Sophists was clearly much larger than 30, and for about 70 years, until c. 380 BC, they were the sole source of higher education in the more advanced Greek cities. Thereafter, at least at Athens, they were largely replaced by the new philosophic schools, such as those of

Plato and Isocrates. Plato's dialogue Protagoras describes something like a conference of Sophists at the house of Callias in Athens just before the Peloponnesian War. Antimoerus of Mende, described as one of the most distinguished of Protagoras' pupils, is there receiving professional instruction in order to become a Sophist (Protagoras, 315 a), and it is clear that this was already a normal way of entering the profession. Most of the major Sophists were not Athenians, but they made Athens the centre for their activities, although travelling continuously. The importance of Athens was doubtless due in part to the greater freedom of speech prevailing there, in part to the patronage of wealthy men like Callias, and even to the positive encouragement of Pericles, who was said to have held long discussions with Sophists in his house. But primarily the Sophists congregated at Athens because they found there the greatest demand for what they had to offer, namely, instruction to young men, and the extent of this demand followed from the nature of the city's political life. Athens was a democracy, and although its limits were such that Thucydides could say it was governed by one man, Pericles, it nonetheless gave opportunities for a successful political career to citizens of the most diverse backgrounds, provided they could impress their audiences sufficiently in the council and the assembly. After Pericles' death this avenue became the highroad to political success. The Sophists taught men how to speak and what arguments to use in public debate. A Sophistic education was increasingly sought after both by members of the oldest families and by aspiring newcomers without family backing. The changing pattern of Athenian society made merely traditional attitudes in many cases no longer adequate. Criticizing such attitudes and replacing them by rational arguments held special attraction for the young, and it explains the violent distaste which they aroused in traditionalists. Plato thought that much of the Sophistic attack upon traditional values was unfair and unjustified. But even he learned at least one thing from the Sophists—if the older values were to be defended, it must be by reasoned argument, not by appeals to tradition and unreflecting faith. Seen from this point of view, the Sophistic movement was a valuable function of Athenian democracy in the 5th century BC. It offered an education designed to facilitate and promote success in public life. All of the Sophists appear to have provided a training in rhetoric and in the art of speaking, and the Sophistic movement, responsible for large advances in rhetorical theory, contributed greatly to the development of style in oratory. In modern times the view occasionally has been advanced that this was the Sophists' only concern. But the range of topics dealt with by the major Sophists makes this unlikely, and even if success in this direction was their ultimate aim, the means they used were surely as much indirect as direct, for the pupils were instructed not merely in the art of speaking, but in grammar; in the nature of virtue (arete) and the bases of morality; in the history of society and the arts; in poetry, music, and mathematics; and also in astronomy and the physical sciences. Naturally the balance and emphasis differed from Sophist to Sophist, and some offered wider curricula than others. But this was an individual matter, and attempts by earlier historians of philosophy to divide the Sophistic movement into periods in which the nature of the instruction was altered are now seen to fail for lack of evidence. The 5th-century Sophists inaugurated a method of higher education that in range and method anticipated the modern humanistic approach inaugurated or revived during the Renaissance. Nature of Sophistic thought A question still discussed is whether the Sophists in general had any real regard for truth or whether they taught their pupils that truth was unimportant compared with success in argument. Plato's hostile judgment on both counts is still frequently repeated without question. The Platonic writings make frequent reference to what Plato calls “eristic” (Greek eristikos, “fond of wrangling”) and “antilogic”; the two often have been incorrectly treated as identical. Eristic, for Plato, consists in arguments aimed at victory rather than at truth. Antilogic involves the assignment to any argument of a counterargument that negates it, with the implication that both argument and counterargument are equally true. Antilogic in this sense was especially associated with Protagoras; but Plato, no doubt correctly, attributes its use to other Sophists as well. He regards the use of antilogic as essentially eristic, whether it be used to silence an opponent by making his position seem self-contradictory, or whether it be used mechanically to negate any proposition put forward in debate. He concludes that the widespread use of antilogic is evidence that Sophists had no real regard for the truth, which must itself be free from antilogic. But Plato himself believed, for much or possibly all of his life, that the phenomenal world was essentially

antilogical inasmuch as no statement about it could be made possessing a greater degree of truth than the contradictory of that statement. For example, if a man is tall in relation to one object, he will be short in relation to another object. In so characterizing the phenomenal world, Plato certainly did not wish to be called eristic—he regarded the application of antilogic to the description of the phenomenal world as an essential preliminary to the search for the truth residing in the Platonic Forms, which are themselves free from antilogic. Seen in this perspective, the Sophistic use of antilogic must be judged less harshly. To the extent that it was used irresponsibly to secure success in debate it was eristic, and the temptation so to use it must often have arisen. But where it was invoked in the sincere belief that antilogic elements were indeed involved, or where it was used for analyzing a complex situation in order to reveal its complexity, then antilogic was in no way inconsistent with devotion to truth. This raises the question to what extent the Sophists possessed any general view of the world or gave expression to any genuine philosophical views, whether original or derived. Ancient writers, influenced by Plato and Aristotle, seem to have excluded the Sophists, apart from Protagoras, for their schematized accounts of early Greek thinkers. Modern writers have frequently maintained that, whatever else they were, the Sophists were in no sense philosophers. Even those who acknowledge the philosophical interest of certain particular doctrines attributed to individual Sophists often tend to regard these as exceptions and claim that, inasmuch as the Sophists were not a school but only independent teachers and writers, as a class they were not philosophers. Two questions are involved: whether the Sophists held common intellectual doctrines and whether some or all of these could actually be termed philosophical. Among moderns, Hegel was one of the first to reinsert the Sophists into the history of Greek philosophy. He did so within the framework of his own dialectic, in which every thesis invokes its own opposite, or antithesis; thus he treated the Sophists as representing the antithesis to the thesis of the group of philosophers known collectively as the Pre-Socratics. Pre-Socratics such as Thales, Heracleitus, and Parmenides sought the truth about the external world with a bold enthusiasm that produced a series of explanations, each claiming to be correct. None of these explanations of the physical world paid attention to the observer and each was driven to reject more and more of the phenomenal world itself as unreal. Finally, with the Eleatics, a 5th-century school at Elea in Italy that held that reality is a static one, of which Parmenides and Zeno are representatives, little or nothing of the phenomenal world was left as real. This trend in turn produced a growing distrust of the power of human beings to attain knowledge of the ultimate basis of natural phenomena. Philosophy had reached an impasse, and there was a danger of complete scepticism. Such an extreme position, according to Hegel's view, provoked the “antithesis” of the Sophistic movement, which rejected the “thesis” of the objectivists and concentrated attention upon man rather than upon nature. To Hegel, the Sophists were subjective Idealists, holding that reality is only minds and their contents, and so philosophy could move forward by turning its attention to the subjective element in knowing. Reflection upon the contrast between the thought of the Sophists and that of their predecessors produced the “syntheses” of Plato and Aristotle. Whether any of the Sophists actually were subjective Idealists may be doubted. The conclusion depends in part on whether Protagoras held that phenomena had subjective existence only, or whether he thought that all things perceived had objective existence but were perceived differently according to the nature of the percipient and their relation to him—i.e., whether he interpreted phenomena subjectively or relativistically. It is fairly clear, however, that the Sophists did concentrate very largely upon man and human society, upon questions of words in their relations to things, upon issues in the theory of knowledge, and upon the importance of the observer and the subjective element in reality and in the correct understanding of reality. This emphasis helps to explain the philosophical hostility of Plato and Aristotle. Particularly in the eyes of Plato, anyone who looks for the truth in phenomena alone, whether he interprets it subjectively or relativistically, cannot hope to find it there; and his persistence in turning away from the right direction virtually amounts to a rejection of philosophy and of the search for truth. Many a subsequent thinker for whom metaphysics, or the investigation of the deepest nature of reality, was the crowning achievement of philosophy has felt with Plato that the Sophists were so antimetaphysical that they have no claim to rank as philosophers. But in a period when, for many philosophers, metaphysics is no longer the most important part of philosophy and is even for some no part at all, there is growing appreciation of a number of

problems and doctrines recurring in the discussions of the Sophists in the 5th and 4th centuries BC. In the 18th and early 19th centuries the Sophists were considered charlatans. Their intellectual honesty was impugned, and their doctrines were blamed for weakening the moral fibre of Greece. The charge was based on two contentions, both correct: first, that many of the Sophists attacked the traditionally accepted moral code; and second, that they explored and even commended alternative approaches to morality that would condone or allow behaviour of a kind inadmissible under the stricter traditional code. Much less weight has been attached to these charges since about the mid-19th century. First, many of the attacks on the traditional morality were in the name of a new morality that claimed to be of greater validity. Attacks upon particular doctrines often claimed that accepted views should be abandoned as morally defective. Furthermore, even when socially disfavoured action seemed to be commended, this was frequently done to introduce a principle necessary in any satisfactory moral theory. Thus when Thrasymachus in the first book of Plato's Republic argues that justice is unwarranted when it merely contributes to another's good and not to the good of the doer, Plato agrees. Finally, there is no evidence that any of the Sophists were personally immoral or that any of their pupils were induced to immoral actions by Sophistic teaching. The serious discussion of moral problems and the theory of morality tends to improve behaviour, not to corrupt it. Writings In addition to their teaching, the Sophists wrote many books, the titles of which are preserved by writers such as Diogenes Laërtius, who probably derived them from library catalogues. It has usually been supposed that the writings themselves hardly survived beyond the period of Plato and Aristotle, but this view requires modification in the light of papyrus finds, admittedly few, that were copied from Sophistic writings in the Christian Era. It also has been possible to identify in the works of later writers certain imitations or summaries of 5th-century Sophistic writers, whose names are unknown. The most important of these are the discussion of law in the Protrepticus, or “Exhortation to Philosophy,” by the 3rd-centuryAD Syrian Neoplatonist Iamblichus, and the so-called Dissoi logoi found in the manuscripts of Sextus Empiricus (3rd century AD). This evidence suggests that while most later writers took their accounts of the Sophists from earlier writers, especially from Plato, the original writings did in many cases survive and were consulted. Particular doctrines As part of his defence of the Sophists against the charge of immoral teachings, the English historian George Grote (1794–1871) maintained that they had nothing in common with each other except their profession, as paid teachers qualifying young men to think, speak, and act with credit to themselves as citizens. This denial of common doctrines cannot be sustained—the evidence is against it. While the Sophists were not a sect, with a set of obligatory beliefs or doctrines, they had a common interest in a whole series of questions to which they sought to apply solutions along certain clearly defined lines. There are great difficulties, however, in the precise reconstruction of individual Sophistic doctrines. No complete writings survive from any of the Sophists to check the accounts found in Plato, and later writers were often, but not always, dependent upon what they found in Plato. Plato doubtless knew well the doctrines of individual Sophists; but he was writing for those to whom these doctrines were already well known, and he was always more interested in following the argument where it led than in providing precise statements of other people's views for the sake of posterity. Consequently, almost everything that is said about particular Sophistic doctrines is subject to controversy. Theoretical issues Relativism and scepticism have often been regarded as common features of the Sophistic movement as a whole. But it was early pointed out that only in Protagoras and Gorgias is there any suggestion of a radical scepticism about the possibility of knowledge; and even in their case Sextus Empiricus, in his discussion of scepticism, is probably right when he declares that neither was really a sceptic. Protagoras does seem to have restricted knowledge to sense experience, but he believed emphatically that whatever was perceived by the senses was certainly true. This led him to assert that the tangent does not touch the circle at a point only, but along a definite length of the circumference; clearly he was referring to human perception of drawn tangents and circles. Gorgias, who claimed that nothing exists, or if it does exist it cannot be known,

or if it exists and is knowable it cannot be communicated to another, has often been accused of denying all reality and all knowledge. Yet he also seems to have appealed in his very discussion of these themes to the certainty of perceived facts about the physical world; e.g., that chariots do not race across the sea. Others dismiss his whole thesis as a satire or joke against philosophers. Probably neither view is correct. What Gorgias seems to have been attacking was not perceived reality nor one's power to perceive it but the attempt to assign existence or nonexistence (with the metaphysical implications of such an operation) to what we perceive around us. There is evidence that other Sophists (e.g., Hippias) were interested in questions of this kind, and it is likely that they were all concerned to some degree with rejecting claims of any nonsensible existence, such as those of the Eleatics. The Sophists, in fact, were attempting to explain the phenomenal world without appealing to any principles outside of phenomena. They believed that this could be done by including the observer within the phenomenal world. Their refusal to go beyond phenomena was, for Plato, the great weakness in their thinking. A second common generalization about the Sophists has been that they represent a revolt against science and the study of the physical world. The evidence is against this, inasmuch as for Hippias, Prodicus, Gorgias, and Protagoras there are records of a definite interest in questions of this kind. The truth is rather that they were in revolt against attempts to explain the physical world by appeals to principles that could not be perceived by the senses; and instead of framing new “objective” explanations, they attempted to explain things, where explanation was required, by introducing the perceiver as one element in the perceptual situation. One of the most famous doctrines associated with the Sophistic movement was the opposition between nature and custom or convention in morals. It is probable that the antithesis did not originate in Sophistic circles but was rather earlier; but it was clearly very popular and figured largely in Sophistic discussions. The commonest form of the doctrine involved an appeal from conventional laws to supposedly higher laws based on nature. Sometimes these higher laws were invoked to remedy defects in actual laws and to impose more stringent obligations; but usually it was in order to free men from restrictions unjustifiably imposed by human laws that the appeal to nature was made. In its extreme form the appeal involved the throwing off of all restraints upon self-interest and the desires of the individual (e.g., the doctrine of Callicles in Plato's Gorgias that might, if one possesses it, is actually right), and it was this, more than anything else, that gave support to charges against the Sophists of immoral teaching. On other occasions the terms of the antithesis were reversed and human laws were explicitly acclaimed as superior to the laws of nature and as representing progress achieved by human endeavour. In all cases the laws of nature were regarded not as generalized descriptions of what actually happens in the natural world (and so not like the laws of physics to which no exceptions are possible) but rather as norms that people ought to follow but are free to ignore. Thus the appeal to nature tended to mean an appeal to the nature of man treated as a source for norms of conduct. To Greeks this appeal was not very novel. It represented a conscious probing and exploration into an area wherein, according to their whole tradition of thought, lay the true source for norms of conduct. If Callicles in Plato's Gorgias represents a position actually held by a living Sophist when he advocates free rein for the passions, then it was easy for Plato to argue in reply that the nature of man, if it is to be fulfilled, requires organization and restraint in the license given to the desires of particular aspects of it; otherwise the interests of the whole will be frustrated. Both Plato and Aristotle, in basing so much of their ethics on the nature of man, are only following up the approach begun by the Sophists. Humanistic issues The Sophists have sometimes been characterized by their attacks on the traditional religious beliefs of the Greeks. It is true that more than one Sophist seems to have faced prosecution for impiety, as did Socrates also. Protagoras wrote “concerning the gods, I cannot know either that they exist or that they do not exist nor what they are like in form,” and Prodicus offered a sociological account of the development of religion. Critias went further when he supposed that the gods were deliberately invented to inspire fear in the evildoer. It is thus probably correct to say that the tendency of much Sophistic thought was to reject the traditional doctrines about the gods. Indeed this follows almost inevitably if the supposition is correct that all the Sophists were attempting to explain the phenomenal world from within itself, while excluding all

principles or entities not discernible in phenomena. But in their agnostic attitudes toward the Olympian deities the Sophists were probably at one with most of the Pre-Socratic philosophers of the 6th and 5th centuries and also with most thinking people living toward the end of the 5th century. It is thus probably misleading to regard them as revolutionary in their religious beliefs. The importance the Sophists attached to man meant that they were extremely interested in the history and organization of human societies. Here again most is known about Protagoras, and there is a danger of treating his particular doctrines as typical of the Sophistic movement as a whole. In the 5th century, human history was very commonly seen in terms of a decline from an earlier golden age. Another view supposed that there were recurring cycles in human affairs according to which a progression from good to bad would give way to one from bad to good. The typical Sophistic attitude toward society rejected both of these views in favour of one that saw human history in terms of progress from savagery to civilization. In a famous myth Protagoras explained how man achieved civilized society first with the aid of arts and crafts and then by gaining a sense of respect and justice in the ordering of his affairs. The general thinking of most of the Sophists seems to have been along similar lines. One of the most distinctive Sophistic tenets was that virtue can be taught, a position springing naturally from the Sophists' professional claim to be the teachers of young men. But the word virtue (arete) implied both success in living and the qualities necessary for achieving such success, and the claim that arete could be taught by the kind of teaching that the Sophists offered had far-ranging implications. It involved the rejection of the view that arete came only by birth—for example, by being born a member of a noble family—and it involved also the rejection of the doctrine that arete was a matter of the chance occurrence of specified qualities in particular individuals. Arete, in the Sophists' view, was the result of known and controllable procedures, a contention of profound importance for the organization of society. Moreover, what can be taught has some relation to what can be known and understood. The belief that teaching of a high intellectual calibre could produce success both for the individual and for governments has had a profound influence upon the subsequent history of education. Once again, it is through the acceptance of this doctrine by Plato and Aristotle that the Sophistic position came to be part of subsequent humanist tradition. The Second Sophistic movement It is a historical accident that the name “Sophist” came to be applied to the Second Sophistic movement. Greek literature underwent a period of eclipse during the 1st century BC and under the early Roman Empire. But Roman dominance did not prevent a growing interest in sophistic oratory in the Greekspeaking world during the 1st century AD. This oratory aimed merely at instructing or interesting an audience and had of necessity no political function. But it was based on elaborate rules and required a thorough knowledge of the poets and prose writers of antiquity. Training was provided by professional teachers of rhetoric who claimed the title of Sophists, just as the 5th-century Sophists had adopted a name already used by others. The revival of the Greek spirit under Hadrian and other emperors in the 2nd century AD who were also admirers of Greek culture found expression in a fresh flowering of Greek prose following principles developed and applied by the professors of rhetoric in the 1st century AD. Hence a group of Greek prose writers in the 2nd century AD were regarded as constituting the Second Sophistic movement. This was a backward-looking movement that took as its models Athenian writers of the 5th and 4th centuries BC; hence the label “Atticists” (Greek Attikos, “Athenian”) applied to some of its leading members. The limits of the movement were never clear. It is usually taken to include Polemon of Athens, Herodes Atticus, Aelius Aristides, Maximus of Tyre, and the group of Philostrati. Dio Chrysostom of Prusa is often included, although others would regard him as preparing the way for the main period. Other writers, like Lucian, Aelian, and Alciphron, were influenced by the movement even if not properly members of it; and the writers of prose romances, such as Longus and Heliodorus, and the historians Dio Cassius and Herodian are also associated with the general trend. By the 3rd century AD, however, its impulse was weakening, and it was shortly no longer distinguishable within the general stream of Greek literature. Sophist In philosophy, a member of a group of itinerant professional teachers, lecturers, and writers prominent in

Greece in the latter half of the 5th century BC and continuing, although declining, into the 4th. A later movement, known as the Second Sophistic school, existed in the 2nd century AD, but it consisted of Greek prose writers characterized more by nostalgia than by originality or profundity of thought. The name Sophist derives from the Greek sophistes, itself derived from sophos, meaning “wise,” “clever,” or “expert,” and, in a general sense, the epithet was applied to craftsmen as well as to poets and sages and to such figures as the Athenian statesman Solon (late 6th and early 5th century BC), Pythagoras, Socrates, and Plato. The first and most eminent representative of the so-called Sophistic school was Protagoras (c. 485–c. 410 BC). Other notable Sophists, all working in the late 5th century, include Gorgias of Leontini, Prodicus, Hippias, Antiphon, and Thrasymachus; Critias is often considered a Sophist, although he was an amateur whose main career lay in politics. The Sophist movement arose at a time when there was much questioning of the absolute nature of familiar values and ways of life. It was recognized that while different societies expressed radically different outlooks on fundamental questions, all people everywhere—Greeks of one's own as well as of other cities, Greeks and non-Greeks, men and women, masters and slaves—shared a common human nature. An antithesis arose between nature and custom, tradition, or law. Custom could be regarded either as artificial trammels on the freedom of the natural state or as a beneficial and civilizing restraint upon natural anarchy. Both views were represented among the Sophists, although the former was the more common. The Sophists worked independently of each other, primarily on ethical, political, and social questions. They drew their audiences partly from people with a general intellectual curiosity, but also from those seeking practical training in the arts of persuasion as preparation for political and legal careers. This led certain Sophists to specialize in logic and rhetoric and to ask questions, both theoretical and practical, about the nature of language; a common sport developed in the form of so-called dialectic, a kind of intellectual jousting subject to elaborate rules of procedure. Other Sophists lectured or wrote on subjects ranging from mathematics to wrestling. The early Sophists enjoyed great prestige, but as challengers to orthodoxy they soon incurred unpopularity. In Athens those citizens who had the money and leisure to attend the lectures of the Sophists came from the aristocratic class, and they were constantly suspected of trying to subvert the popular democracy in the interests of the traditional enemy, Sparta. On the other hand the Sophist teachers were also regarded by some critics—most significantly, Plato—as catering to popular opinion in order to attract a larger group of pupils, and teaching those pupils to do likewise in order to advance politically. Only fragments of the Sophists' writings have survived, and it is from Plato that they are mainly known. Plato gives a vivid picture of an assembly of Sophists in his dialogue Protagoras, and in another dialogue, the Sophist, he discusses more formally what he takes to be the essence of their thought. His attitude is generally hostile, though he does allow a tenuous intellectual link between them and his master, Socrates. But it is clear that the Sophists had an immense influence, largely via Plato himself, on a number of spheres, including the growth of logic, the philosophy of language, and epistemology, as well as on ethical and political theory. After their decline, the reputation of the Sophists remained generally low into the 19th century, when they were defended by the English historian of Greece, George Grote. Still more recently, they have attained through some evaluations a modest esteem.
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3. Seven Sages of Greece
The Seven Sages of Greece (c. 620 BC-550 BC) was the title given by Greek tradition to seven wise ancient Greek men who were philosophers, statesmen and law-givers. They were philodorians. The Seven Sages are known for their practical wisdom which "consisted of pithy and memorable dicta". (1) Later, they

met at Delphi to dedicate their wise sayings to the god Apollo. Socrates provides the earliest list of the socalled Seven Sages. Solon of Athens Chilon of Sparta Thales of Miletus Bias of Priene Cleobulus of Lindos Pittacus of Mitylene Myson of Chen Instead of Myson of Chen, some authorities add: Periander of Corinth "Know thyself". "Nothing in excess". "To bring surety brings ruin". "Too many workers spoil the work". "Moderation is the chief good". "Know thine opportunity".

"Forethought in all things".

Anacharsis A Scythian prince Other quotes attributed to the sages include: "Master anger"; "Look to the end of life"; " Avoid responsibility for others' debts"; and the characteristically Greek "Most men are bad". Socrates obliquely refers to a tale of the Seven Sages which points out that humility is the basis of wisdom. This story is recorded by Diogenes Laertius. The story goes that some fishermen brought up the tripod of Helen of Troy who dropped it into the sea on her return voyage to Sparta. The Coans wanted it back and the fishermen refused. War broke out. Seeing no conclusion to the war, the combatants sent to Delphi inquiries on what to do with the Tripod. The oracle commanded the tripod to be given to the wisest man. So, the Coans sent it to Thales of Miletus. He modestly disclaimed the title and sent it to Bias of Priene, who also refused the honor and so it continued throughout the group. In the end, it was finally to be dedicated to Apollo; some say to Ismenian Apollo at Thebes, and others to Apollo at Delphi. Solon Solon (Greek: S????, c. 638 BC–558 BC) was a famous Athenian law maker. He was the son of Execestides. He first worked as a foreign trader, and his abilities as a poet had him lauded as one of the Seven Sages of Greece. In the mid 590s BC he worked to promote renewed conflict against Cirrha over Salamis. In 594 BC he was made archon of Attica, in order to subdue the civil disorder that was rampant there. He introduced a set of ordinances, seisachtheia, that did much to improve conditions. His ordinances were such a success that he was given the task of rewriting the constitution, creating what was later called the Solonian Constitution. He repealed most of the laws of Draco; introduced a timokratia, an oligarchy with a sliding scale of rights determined by property, dividing the population into four classes: Pentakosiomedimnoi, Hippeis, Zeugitai and Thetes; He introduced the trial by jury; military obligations were codified based on class; the Council of the Four Hundred (or Boule) and the Areopagus were established as the main consultative and administrative bodies; introduced many new laws, especially those covering debt and taxation; remodelled the calendar; and regulated weights and measures. Also, he took measures to protect children from sexual abuse. His laws were written onto special wooden cylinders and placed in the Acropolis.

Solon wrote the laws as a compromise between oligarchy and democracy, tailored to what the people would accept. After having his constitution accepted he left Athens for over ten years, travelling to Egypt, Cyprus and Lydia. According to the historian Herodotus of Halicarnassus, in Lydia he offended Croesus when he was asked "Who is the happiest man you have ever seen?", instead of complimenting the king he said "I can speak of no one as happy until they are dead". It was recalling this story which, again according to Herodotus, saved Croesus from execution when his kingdom was overcome by Cyrus's invading Persians. Solon returned to Athens in the 550s BC during the reign of the tyrant Pisistratus. The tyrant retained some of the constitution and showed Solon considerable respect. Solon died soon afterwards. Chilon of Sparta Chilon of Sparta or Chilo of Sparta was a Lacedaemonian, son of Damagetus and one of the Seven Sages of Greece. As an ephor he strengthened that position in Sparta. It is recorded that he composed verses in elegiac metre to the number of two hundred. Chilon was also the first person who introduced the custom of joining the ephors to the kings as their counselors, though Satyrus attributes this institution to Lycurgus. Some of his sayings: "Do not speak evil of the dead." "Honour old age." "Prefer punishment to disgraceful gain; for the one is painful but once, but the other for one's whole life." "Do not laugh at a person in misfortune." "If one is strong be also merciful, so that one's neighbors may respect one rather than fear one." "Learn how to regulate one's own house well." "Do not let one's tongue outrun one's sense." "Restrain anger." "Do not dislike divination." "Do not desire what is impossible." "Do not make too much haste on one's road." "Obey the laws." Chilon flourished around the beginning of the 6th century B.C. The tradition was that he died of joy in the arms of his son, who had just gained a prize at the Olympic games. Thales

Bias of Priene Bias was the son of Teutamus and a citizen of Priene. Satyrus puts him as the wisest of all the Seven Sages of Greece. One of the examples of his goodness is the legend that says that he paid a ransom for some women who had been taken prisoner. After educating them as his own daughters, he sent them back to Messina, their homeland, and to their fathers. Also it is said that when some fishermen found The Brazen Tripod on which was encrypted: "For the Wisest", the fathers of the damsels came into an assembly. They concluded that Bias was the wisest among all men, so the tripod was presented to him as a token of gratitude for all that he had done for the city. Bias refused the honor with the words: "Apollo is the wisest". Another author notes that he consecrated the tripod at Thebes to Hercules.

He also wrote about two thousand verses on Ionia, to show in what matter a man might achieve happiness. Some of his sayings were: "All men are wicked." "It is difficult to bear a change of fortune for the worse with magnanimity." "Choose the course which you adopt with deliberation; but when you have adopted it, then persevere in it with firmness." "Do not speak fast, for that shows folly." "Love prudence." "Speak of the Gods as they are." "Do not praise an undeserving man because of his riches." "Accept of things, having procured them by persuasion, not by force." "Cherish wisdom as a means of traveling from youth to old age, for it is more lasting than any other possession." Quote: "It is said that he was very energetic and eloquent when pleading causes; but that he always reserved his talents for the right side. In reference to which Demodicus of Alerius uttered the following enigmatical saying—"If you are a judge, give a Prienian decision." And Hipponax says, "More excellent in his decisions than Bias of Priene." (Diogenes Laertius, Book I, Chapter: The Life of Bias) The legend says that he died as an old man, pleading a cause for his client. After he had finished speaking, he leaned back with his head on the bosom of his daughter's son. When the advocate on the opposite side had spoken, the judges decided in favour of Bias's client. At the end of the trial he was found dead on his grandson's bosom. The city buried him in the greatest magnificence. Cleobulus of Lindos Cleobulus was a native of Lindus, and the son of Evagoras. He studied philosophy in Egypt; and had a daughter named Cleobulina, who used to compose enigmas in hexameter verse, that were said to be of no less significance than his own. It is said that he restored the temple of Minerva which had been built by Danaus. He used to compose songs and sayings in verse to the number of three thousand lines. Diogenes Laertius presents these lines: "I am a brazen maiden lying here Upon the tomb of Midas. And as long As water flows, as trees are green with leaves, As the sun shines and eke the silver moon, As long as rivers flow, and billows roar, So long will I upon this much wept tomb, Tell passers by, "Midas lies buried here." (Diogenes Laertius, Book I, Chapter: The Life of Cleobulus) Some of his sayings were: " Ignorance and talkativeness bear the chief sway among men." "Cherish not a thought." "Do not be fickle, or ungrateful." "Be fond of hearing rather than of talking." "Be fond of learning rather than unwilling to learn." "Seek virtue and eschew vice." "Be superior to pleasure." "Instruct one's children." "Be ready for reconciliation after quarrels." "Avoid injustice."

"Do nothing by force." "Moderation is the best thing." He died as an old man of seventy. Pittacus of Mitylene Pittacus was the son of Hyrradius, and one of the Seven Sages of Greece. He was a native of Mitylene, and the Mitylenaean general who, with his army, was victorious in the battle against the Athenians and their commander Phrynon. In consequence of this victory the Mitylenaeans held Pittacus in the greatest honor, and presented the supreme power into his hands. After ten years of reign he resigned his position, and the city and constitution were brought into good order. Some authors mention that he had a son called Tyrrhaeus. The legend says that his son was killed, and when the murderer was brought before Pittacus, he dismissed the man, saying, "Pardon is better than repentance." Of this matter, Heraclitus says that he had got the murderer into his power, and then he released him, saying, "Pardon is better than punishment." It was a saying of Pittacus, that it is a hard thing to be really a good man. Another of his sayings were: "Even the Gods cannot strive against necessity." "Power shows the man." "Do not say before hand what you are going to do; for if you fail, you will be laughed at." "Do not reproach a man with his misfortunes, fearing lest Nemesis may overtake you." "Forbear to speak evil not only of your friends, but also of your enemies." "Cultivate truth, good faith, experience, cleverness, sociability, and industry." He flourished about the forty-second Olympiad. Having lived more than seventy years, he died in the third year of the fifty-second Olympiad. Myson of Chen Myson of Chen is known as one of the Seven Sages of Greece. He was "a husbandman of the Laconian town of Etia, and resided at a place called Chen in the same country". There is some confusion if he was a true Spartan: "there is a story in Plutarch, (Quaest. Rom. 84), of Myson making in winter a fork for tossing the corn, and, when Chilon wondered at it, of his justifying himself by an apposite answer; where Myson is opposed, as a Perioecian farmer, to the noble Spartan" Alternative to Myson of Chen are: Periander Periander was the second tyrant of Corinth, Greece in the 7th century BC. He was the son of the first tyrant, Cypselus. Periander succeeded his father in 627 BC. He upgraded Corinth's port, and built a ramp across the Isthmus of Corinth so that ships could be dragged across (the diolkos), avoiding the sea route around the Peloponnese. The money gained from the diolkos allowed Periander to abolish taxes in Corinth. However, Periander was later considered the typical evil tyrant (for example, by Aristotle). Herodotus says he learned his "savagery" from Thrasybulus, the tyrant of Miletus, who instructed Periander to get rid of anyone who could conceivably take power from him. Among his acts were sending young boys from Corcyra to be castrated in Lydia, and the murder of his own wife, Melissa. Their son Lycophron discovered that his father was the murderer, so Periander exiled him from Corinth and forbade any of his subjects to shelter him. Periander later tried to reconcile with Lycophron, but Lycophron refused to return unless Periander abdicated. However, the inhabitants of Corcyra killed Lycophron to prevent Periander from arriving.

Periander was included by most authors in the Seven Sages of Greece. According to Herodotus, Periander also held the musical contest that was won by the poet Arion Anacharsis Anacharsis: "He marvelled that among the Greeks, those who were skillful in a thing vie in competition; those who have no skill, judge" —Diogenes Laertius, of Anacharsis. Anacharsis was a Scythian philosopher who travelled from his homeland on the northern shores of the Black Sea to Athens in the early 6th century BCE and made a great impression as a forthright, outspoken "barbarian," apparently a forerunner of the Skeptics and Cynics, though none of his authentic works have survived. Anacharsis was half Greek and the son of a Scythian chief, from a mixed Hellenistic culture, apparently in the region of the Cimmerian Bosporus. He cultivated the outsider's knack of seeing the illogic in familiar things. His conversation was droll and frank, and Solon and the Athenians took to him as a natural philosopher, not unlike the way the French took to Benjamin Franklin. His rough and free discourse became proverbial among Athenians as 'Scythian discourse'. Arriving in Athens about 589 BCE, he came to the house of Solon the philosopher and lawgiver, and told Solon's slave that Anacharsis was come to visit, desired to see Solon, and wanted to enter into hospitable relations. The servant returned with Solon's quintessentially Greek answer, "Men generally limit such hospitality to their own countrymen." Thereupon the Scythian stepped significantly across the threshold, and said that, now that he was in Solon's country, it would be quite suitable. Anacharis was the first stranger who received the privileges of Athenian citizenship. He was reckoned one of the Seven Sages of Athens, and it is said that he was initiated into the Eleusinian Mysteries of the Great Goddess, a privilege denied to those who did not speak fluent Greek. His book paralleling the laws of the Scythians with the laws of the Greeks has been lost. It was he who compared laws to spiders' webs, which catch small flies and allow wasps and hornets to escape. He exhorted moderation in everything, saying that the vine bears three clusters of grapes: the first wine, pleasure; the second, drunkenness, the third, disgust. So he became a kind of emblem to the Athenians, who inscribed on his statues: 'Restrain your tongues, your appetites, your passions.' (Compare the philosophy of Epicurus.) His famous Letter to Croesus, the proverbially rich king of Lydia, is apocryphal, but typical of his quality: "Anarcharsis to Croesus: O king of the Lydians, I am come to the country of the Greeks, in order to become acquainted with their customs and institutions; but I have no need of gold, and shall be quite contented if I return to Scythia a better man than I left it. However I will come to Sardis, as I think it very desirable to become a friend of yours." When he did return to the Scythians, he was killed, Herodotus (iv, 76) reported, by his own brother, for his Greek ways and especially for the impious attempt to sacrifice to the Mother Goddess Cybele, whose role was unwelcome among the patriarchal Scythians. Strabo makes him the (probably legendary) inventor of the anchor with two flukes. The revival of Anacharsis in the 18th century In 1788 Jean Jacques Barthelemy (1716-95), a highly esteemed classical scholar and Jesuit, published The Travels of Anacharsis the Younger in Greece, a learned imaginary travel journal, one of the first historical novels, which a modern scholar has called "the encyclopedia of the new cult of the antique" in the late 18th Century; it had a high impact on the growth of philhellenism in France at the time. The book went through many editions, was reprinted in the United States and translated into German and other languages. It later inspired European sympathy for the Greek struggle for independence and spawned sequels and imitations

through the 19th century.

4. Philodorian
Philodorian are those people who have a love of Lacedæmonia and ancient Crete and their Doric culture and laws. It is comprised of two Greek words, "philo-" meaning "love of" and "dorian" meaning the Doric race. The Spartans and ancient Cretans were Dorians. The ancient Cretans and Spartans engendered goodwill and honor in classical antiquity because of their valor in war, their noble and virtuous ways, the eunomia of their political life and their creation of a tripartite form of mixed government called a classical republic. "Many of the noblest and best of the Athenians always considered the Spartan state nearly as an ideal theory realised in practice;..." [7 ] Furthermore, they were admired for their art, "not of creating things in words or stone, but of men." [14] • The Seven Sages of Greece were philodorians. "All these were emulators, admirers, and disciples of Spartan culture..." [1] • Socrates, a veteran Athenian hoplite, is the most famous philodorian. Even in his own time, he was known as such but not with a favorable moniker. Aristophanes lampoons him in the Birds as "Sparta-mad" as if from the verb Lakono-maneo meaning to be mad about Laconian or Spartan ways. [2] In the Crito, Socrates acknowledges his own love of Sparta and Crete, "(his) favorite models of good government". • Plato, another Athenian, is another famous philodorian; so much so that he also had about him the signature Spartan characteristic of "cauliflower ears" which are swollen, hardened, and deformed ears characteristic of wrestlers even today. The Republic is loosely based on the Spartan government and ideals. He ends his writing career with the "Laws". It is his magnum opus of political theory and the capstone of his learning. Despite the passing of fifty years since the death of Socrates, his viewpoint hadn't changed and the two main characters are a Cretan and a Spartan. • Cimon • Lycurgus (Athenian statesman), "the most just of financiers, (was) united to an aristocratical disposition (and had) an admiration for the laws of Lacedæmon." [7] • Xenophon was an Athenian gentleman and aristocrat. He too was enthralled with Sparta. After his mercenary adventures in Cyrus' revolt, renumerated in his "The Anabasis", he retired to live in Sparta. He wrote the only surviving contemporary commentary of the Spartan constitution. • Polybius wrote, "My object, then, in this digression is to make it manifest by actual facts that, for guarding their own country with absolute safety, and for preserving their own freedom, the legislation of Lycurgus was entirely sufficient; and for those who are content with these objects we must concede that there neither exists not ever has existed a constitution and civil order preferable to that of Sparta." [7] • Plutarch served for a couple of years at the Doric Temple of Delphi. He has recorded the sayings of the Spartans in his Moralia. • Ancient Romans of the Republic and Empire admired the Laconian state and in 454 B.C. sent a commission to Athens to study the Greek constitutions including that of Sparta. Plutarch wrote "that many Laconian laws and customs appear amongst the Roman institutions" [12] and Polybius wrote on the similarities between the Roman Republican constitution with the Spartan constitution. [5] • Sparta became a sort of tourist destination for wealthy Romans for which they built a special hostel. Furthermore, some Romans built secondary residences there. {recommended as a philodorian 6}

Sabines "declared themselves to be a colony of the Lacedæmonians". [12] Cicero visited the place as a young man. [5] • Niccolò Machiavelli took much inspiration from the Lacedæmonian Republic in his Discourses on Titus Livius. He wrote: "I think, then, that to found a republic which whould endure a long time it would be best to organize her internally like Sparta, or to locate her, like Venice, in some strong place". [15] {recomened as a philodorian 6} • Early Modern Britain, Victorian era England. John Aylmer, in his work An harborowe for faithfull and trewe subiectes (1559) compared the mixed government of Tudor England with the Spartan republic. He describes "Lacedemonia (as) the noblest and best city governed that ever was", and describes and wishes England into the Spartan mold. [9] John Hooker, author of Order and usage of the keeping of a parlement in England (1572), "refers admiringly to Spartan and Roman republicanism". [10] Presbyterianism in England used the "mixed government" argument to undermine or transform the "Lords spiritual" estate (i.e. the bishops) into a simple council of elders. They looked as models for church and state government upon the upper houses of Lacedæmon, Athens, Rome as support for their arguments. [13] The Victorian British adopted the Spartan model of hardening their boys in their public schools; cold water, bad food, and bullying toughened the boys. Victorian education was based on a "combatitive" methodology of debate, competition, prizes and humiliation. [11] • Thomas More{recommended as a philodorian 6} • Rousseau {recommended as a philodorian 6} • Karl Otfried Müller was a German classicist whose love of the moral nobility of the Dorian race led him to champion its greatness against the traditional enthusiasm for Athens. [4] References
1.Protagoras, Plato, Collected Dialogues of Plato, Including the Letters, ed. by Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairns, Bollingen Series LXXI, Princeton University Press, l961, fifth printing l969. 342e-343c; pg 336. 2.The Trial of Socrates, I. F. Stone, Little Brown and Co., Boston, l988. pp 121-124 3.Crito, Plato, Collected Dialogues, Edith Hamilton. 52e; pg 38. 4.Paideia, Werner Jaeger. Vol. I, pg 81. 5.The World of the Warrior-Heroes of Ancient Greece, Paul Cartledge, pg 253 6.The World of the Warrior-Heroes of Ancient Greece, Paul Cartledge pg 24. 7.The History and Antiquities of the Doric Race, Karl Otfried Müller, trans. fr. the German by Henry Tufnell, ESQ. & Georg Cornewall Lewis, ESQ., A.M., publisher: John Murray, London, 2nd ed. rev. 1839. Vol II, pg 192. 8.The Portable Greek Historians: The Essence of Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Polybius, edited by M. I. Finley, The Viking Press, NY, NY, l959. Polybius, Bk VI, sec 50; pg 494. 9.Dangerous Positions; Mixed Government, the Estates of the Realm, and the Making of the "Answer to the xix propositions", Michael Mendle, University of Alabama Press, 1985. pg 49. 10.Dangerous Positions, Mendle. pg 57.

11.The Church Impotent, The Feminization of Christianity, Leon J. Podles, Spence Publishing Co., Dallas, TX, 1999. pp 182-183. 12.Plutarch: The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans, trans. by John Dryden and revised by Arthur Hugh Clough, The Modern Library (div of Random House, Inc). Bio on Numa Pompilius, pg 74. 13.Dangerous Positions, Mendle. pp 64ff.

http://www.martinfrost.ws/htmlfiles/sophists.html#Solon  

14.The Greeks, H. D. F. Kitto, Pelican (div of Penguin Books, Ltd.), Middlesex, England, 1st 1951, 1970. pg 95. 15."Discourses on Titus Livius", Bk I, ch. 6, The Prince, Niccoló Machiavelli, ed. by Robert M. Adams, Norton Critical Edition, NY, 1997. pg 97