Plato's Themes Of Sophistry And Philosophy

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Plato explores many themes throughout his dialogues, particularly the contrast between Sophistry and Philosophy. His dialogues never shy away from this complex difference, but rather, the problem is presented with care. However, this does not always lead to a simplistic differentiation. The difficulty of the problem is heightened, instead of being resolved. Many individuals, upon reading Plato’s dialogues, would confuse sophistry with philosophy, based on the fact that both use rhetoric. Through the use of Socrates, Plato shows that the emphasis on ethics is what separates sophistry from philosophy.
Upon hearing the word “sophist” for the first time, one could decipher that this word is familiar. “Sophistication” is the modern day word used to describe crafty or intelligent individuals. Sophistry, therefore, would be described as the intelligent use of language needed to persuade. Why in ancient times did sophistry have such importance, that many individuals wanted to learn it? An individual would want to learn sophistry because it was part of the democratic form of government. This was particularly useful in matters concerning justice, since no one was an expert in
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On the surface this may seem surprising because in the previous dialogue the Protagoras, Socrates seems very skeptical of the sophist. In actuality, Socrates is being sarcastic. What Socrates is trying to show is that the sophist’s view of ethics is flawed in that it cannot be taught. Socrates used famous figures of Athens such as Themistocles and Thucydides to show ethical they were. However, this ethical behavior could not be passed onto their sons. What Socrates was trying to show is that if these men cannot teach ethical behavior to their sons how can a sophist? This also shows that ethical behavior, democracy, cannot be

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