Sophistic Movement

ISBN-10: 0521283574
ISBN-13: 9780521283571
Edition: 1981
Authors: G. B. Kerferd
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Description: This book offers an introduction to the Sophists of fifth-century Athens and a new overall interpretation of their thought. Since Plato first animadverted on their activities, the Sophists have commonly been presented as little better than  More...

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Book details

List price: $45.99
Copyright year: 1981
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 9/3/1981
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 196
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.440
Language: English

This book offers an introduction to the Sophists of fifth-century Athens and a new overall interpretation of their thought. Since Plato first animadverted on their activities, the Sophists have commonly been presented as little better than intellectual mountebanks - a picture which Professor Kerferd forcefully challenges here. Interpreting the evidence with care, he shows them to have been part of an exciting and historically crucial intellectual movement. At the centre of their teaching was a form of relativism, most famously expressed by Protagoras as 'Man is the measure of all things', and which they developed in a wide range of views - on knowledge and argument, virtue, government, society, and the gods. On all these subjects the Sophists did far more than simply provoke Plato to thought. Their contributions were substantial and serious; they inaugurated the debate on many central philosophical questions and decisively shifted the focus of philosophical attention from the cosmos to man.

Preface
Introduction
Towards a history of interpretations of the sophistic movement
The sophists as a social phenomenon
The meaning of the term sophist
The individual sophists
Dialectic, antilogic and eristic
The theory of language
The doctrine of logos in literature and rhetoric
Sophistic relativism
The nomos--physis controversy
Can virtue be taught?
The theory of society
Religion and the gods
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index

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