Sophists



noun
1.
(often initial capital letter) Greek History.

any of a class of professional teachers in ancient Greece who gave instruction in various fields, as in general culture, rhetoric, politics, or disputation.
a person belonging to this class at a later period who, while professing to teach skill in reasoning, concerned himself with ingenuity and specious effectiveness rather than soundness of argument.

2.
a person who reasons adroitly and speciously rather than soundly.
3.
a philosopher.
noun
1.
(often capital) one of the pre-Socratic philosophers who were itinerant professional teachers of oratory and argument and who were prepared to enter into debate on any matter however specious
2.
a person who uses clever or quibbling arguments that are fundamentally unsound
sophists [(sof-ists)]

Ancient Greek teachers who were accused by some of their contemporaries (including Plato) of being more interested in winning arguments through crafty rhetoric than in pursuing truth.

Note: By extension, a “sophist” is someone who engages in persuasive but false arguments.

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