Wednesday, December 24, 2008

SOPHISTICATED MEN OF OLD!



You're not likely to have anything put over on you if you are wised up or sophisticated (from the Greek word sophos, meaning wise). The sophists or wise men were a group of teachers who achieved great fame in Greece during the fifth century B.C. Although they had many good educational ideas, they got a bad reputation because they accepted pay--so unlike a gentleman--and because they used subtle methods of argumentation.

Some of the sophists even boasted that they could make the worse appear the better reason. Hence the word sophistry has an unfavorable connotation and means arguing deceitfully, attempting to turn a poor case into a good one by means of clever but specious reasoning. And so the word sophistry, that contains the root for wise in it, has come to be a synonym for evasion, fallacious reasoning, quibbling, and casuistry.


2 comments:

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Mon said...

Sandy is right, the entry is really very interesting. Now I know that the word sophisticated was derived from the Greek word, Sophos. How the name Sophia, is it a Greek name?