Was Socrates A Sophist Essay

Sophists To Socrates Essay

Sophists to Socrates

1."Man is the Measure of all things." In this dictum, Protagoras introduced the theory of relativism based on analysis of sense perception. Explain this and it's, (relativism's), impact on ethics.

Protagoras was a pioneer of a theory of perception. His theory of relativism captures the essence of appearance and the true nature of things. From his work we raise questions that attack whether or not we can truthfully perceive the true nature of things because of the human nature of difference. Relating to the phenomena of sense perception, understanding this can only be captured in diving into deep thought of the mind. One effective way of explanation is "the same breeze blowing on two people would feel cool to one, while it would be warm to the other" (32). The characteristics of one element are so extensive that it may be impossible to explain, and be understood in the same way by two people. This theory is near impossible to explain scientifically, and may be hard to comprehend when considering modern science and law. Here in lies one blemish to Protagoras's theory of relativism, but somehow his thought and theory found its way into a new way of thinking.

In applying this theory to modern epoch, one can observe each culture and it's perception of law and government. In the same way that Protagoras used his theory to explain law in his time, we can apply this same relativistic theory to how we perceive other cultures and their beliefs. One countries law may differ from another's but this does not make either firm of law right or wrong. Protagoras agrees that the law and government reflects a cultures general beliefs of morality, but may very well not be believed as right to everyone in that culture. "For this reason, it is impossible to discover what is the 'true' nature of anything; a thing has as many characteristics as there are people to perceive it" (33).

According to Protagoras ethics may be a difficult task to master. Ethics has the same obstacles to face today as it did in the time of the Greeks. The world is divided, and always will be, when deciding what is right and wrong.

3.What does Thrasymachus mean by his position that "justice is in the interest of the stronger?"

Thrasymachus's theory of justice and self-assertion is an ambiguous, but strangely intelligent display of moral thought. His theories have come under attack by many, including Socrates. Thrasymachus' perspective of human nature is that we all seek to maximize power, profit and possessions. This belief was to him the ultimate initiative of the strong.

This very unusual way of thinking has an indistinct but deepening perception of striving for what is "right." According to Thrasymachus, a person that is able to perfect injustice-ness is one that will find ones self soaked in a blanket of success. When striving to apply ones own belief, one can rule over what is "right" because what is "right" is ultimately...

Loading: Checking Spelling

0%

Read more

The Charges Against Socrates Essay

895 words - 4 pages The Charges Against Socrates The charges against Socrates were brought upon him by a man names Meletus. Meletus was a young man that Socrates did not know very well. These charges brought on by Meletus caused the indictment of Socrates. One of the charges in the affidavit written by Meletus against Socrates is that he is "corrupting the youth." Another charge that is brought upon Socrates is that of he is making up new Gods and...

Socrates Essay

682 words - 3 pages SocratesSocrates, as known by Renault, was a beautiful creature. Not physically beautiful, but internally and fundamentally beautiful. It was he who said: When you assume the show of any virtue, you open a credit account, which one day you will have to meet or go broke (pp. 398). According to Renault, Socrates taught children free of charge. He often walked and talked...

The Trial of Socrates

983 words - 4 pages Socrates was accused of being a sophist because he was "engaging in inquiries into things beneath the earth and in the heavens, of making the weaker argument appear the stronger," and "teaching others these same things." (Apology, Plato, Philosophic Classics page 21) Socrates is also accused of denying the existence of the gods, and corrupting the youth. Socrates goes about trying to prove his innocence. The jury that Socrates was tried by...

Influences of socratic philoso

920 words - 4 pages WESTERN CIVILIZATION In today's modern world, much of our own culture's beliefs and morals are directly due to the impact of Socratic philosophy on European thinkers, and therefore our own in the western world. This philosophy, was based upon the thoughts of Socrates, who was an Athenian...

The Sophists.

922 words - 4 pages As Athens grew in influence, it attracted more and more people from other city-states and countries. Opportunities for a growing number of Athenians to speak before the Assembly created a demand for specialized education in subjects such as letters, rhetoric, science, statesmanship, and philosophy. Those who considered themselves as original, true Athenians became increasingly ethnocentric. The sophists were the first true professional...

The Biography of Socrates

1502 words - 6 pages Untitled Stephanie Sherrod Professor McClendon

Comparison of Socrates and Siddhartha Guatama Buddha

896 words - 4 pages Socrates and Siddhartha Guatama Buddha have many similarities; they both believe in the importance of justice and good, and a simpler way of life. However, they have different goals: Socrates concerns with worldly meanings and codes, he deals with truth and morals. Buddha concerns with attaining the outer-worldly through mastering the worldly. Socrates relinquishes sensual desires in hopes of spiritual rebirth after death and achieving...

Aristotelian Rhetoric: An Evolution of Sophist’s Discredited Methodology

2089 words - 8 pages Scholars of rhetoric consider the Greek philosopher, Aristotle, one of the great contributors to our present understanding of this art which, since its early origins and until present, has been a controversial field of study because of its association with persuasion and influence. However, an examination of ancient rhetoric and its development by the Sophists and then a study on Aristotle’s theory on rhetoric and how he concluded his findings...

A brief overview of Greek Philosophy: Socrates

754 words - 3 pages History. The growing power of Athens had frightened other Greek states for years before the Peloponnesian War broke out in 431. During the war, Pericles died in the plague of Athens (429); fortunes of war varied until a truce was made in 421, but this was never very stable and in 415 Athens was persuaded by Alcibiades, a pupil of the Athenian teacher, Socrates, to send a huge force to Sicily in an attempt to take over some of the cities there....

The Apology: the accusations against Socrates leading to his death.

1202 words - 5 pages The ApologyThe accusation held by the prosecutors against Socrates is impiety (not believing in Athenian gods). ??especially now, when I am being tried for impiety on the indictment of Meletus.? From Socrates? enemies' point of view, he is guilty of impiety for not supporting the religious views found in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey....

Socrates

1325 words - 5 pages Socrates was perhaps the most interesting and influential thinker in the fifth century. He was dedicated to careful reasoning and he wanted genuine knowledge rather than the victory over his opponent. He learned the rhetoric and dialectics of the Sophists, the ideas of the Lonian philosophers, and the general culture of Periclean Athens. Socrates used the same knowledge by the Sophists to get a new purpose, the pursuit of truth. He called...

Summary: Describes the sophist philosophy. Contrasts it to the views of ancient Greek philosopher Socrates. Focuses on the varying views on absolute truth.


How would you feel if someone called you a sophist? Before you answer, it's important to know how the meaning of this word has evolved. "During the fifth century, sophists were teachers, speakers, and philosophers who were paid to use rhetoric (Mardner 1)." But many people opposed their style of teaching. Socrates was a philosopher who disagreed with the Sophist's point-of-view. The main differences between the Sophist and Socrates were their views on absolute truth.

"The sophist believed that there was no absolute truth and that truth was what one believed it to be (Porter 1)." Sophists were not teachers of truth but teachers of thought. Their students were expected to be able to argue both sides of a debate but were not required to take a stand on a subject. "Sophists concluded that there is no absolute proof of anything and that language counts for nothing (Gibson 285)." Sophist teachers...

(read more)

This section contains 858 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)

View a FREE sample

One thought on “Was Socrates A Sophist Essay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *