Essay about Oppositional World Views: Plato & The Sophists

1794 Words 8 Pages
The Sophist views and beliefs originated in Ancient Greece around 400 B.C.E. The Sophists were known as wandering rhetoricians who gave speeches to those who could afford to listen. The Sophists deeply believed in the power of rhetoric and how it could improve one’s life. Plato on the other hand was opposed to all Sophist beliefs. He viewed the Sophists as rhetorical manipulators who were only interested in how people could be persuaded that they learned the truth, regardless if it was in fact the truth. Plato basically opposed every view the Sophists held true and tried to disprove them throughout his many dialogues. The Sophists and Plato held two very contrasting views and this paper will attempt to sift through them all in hopes of …show more content…
There really can be no absolute truth then because the truth hinges solely on who presents a better argument.
Just as the opposite of up is down, the opposite of right is wrong, and the opposite of good is evil, the opposite of the Sophists was Plato. Plato and his philosophies were also rooted in ancient Greece at the same time as the Sophists. Plato studied under Socrates, another famous ancient philosopher, and started the very first center for learning which he called the Academy. Plato was not what you would call a relativist though. He was exactly the opposite. He was opposed to all the beliefs of the Sophists, believing them to be only concerned with the manipulative aspects of how humans attain knowledge. He argued that they taught people how to persuade people into believing they heard the truth, even if it wasn’t in fact the truth. Plato believes that true rhetoric is where philosophers and their pupils become free from all worldly encumbrances and all conventional beliefs in the pursuit of a transcendent absolute truth. (Bizzell P. & Herzberg, B., 2001, pg. 29) Plato believes that there is in fact absolute truth and contends that discourse is necessary to uncover it. He feels that false rhetoric is Sophist rhetoric and that with their vast knowledge of rhetoric, they should be using it to find absolute truth, not teaching people how to convince people that

More about Essay about Oppositional World Views: Plato & The Sophists

Open Document