> XPOHOC > >  >

2007 .



Sophists apologia.

Sophists were the first paid teachers ever. These ancient Greek enlighteners taught wisdom. Protagoras, Antiphon, Prodicus, Hippias, Lykophron are most famous ones. Sophists views and concerns made a unified encyclopedic system aimed at teaching common wisdom, virtue, management and public speaking. Of the contemporary enlighters, Deil Carnegys educational work seems to be the most similar to sophism. Sophists were the first intellectuals their trade was to sell knowledge. They introduced a new type of teacher-student relationship the mutually beneficial communication on equal terms. They taught pupils how to think independently and how to persuade others, which was inseparably connected with the rise of democracy in the most advanced Greek polices.
Sophists were the first to proclaim that all people are naturally equal. They put forward the idea of natural rights and social contract, working out the fundamentals of the present-day law. In addition, they developed the basics of philology, psychology, logic, and gave a scientific explanation to the origins of religions. They embodied definite positive ideals of their epoch.
Sophistry flourished in the second half of the Vth through he first third of the IVth centuries B. C. The period coincides with the heyday of the entire Greek history the so called Greek Miracle epoch. Sophists expressed some present-day concepts of Ancient Greek ideology and mentality, characteristic of its Golden Age times. The Ancient Athens of the times of Periclus were similar to the Florence of Renaissance as to the type of social structure. That is why (?) the art of eloquence (public speaking) was highly respected in Florence. The two cities had a lot of features of the present-day capitalist society, which was due to their role as the main centres of industry of their worlds-economies. During the subsequent Hellenic period, the Old Order was restored, based on the feudal rent recipients rule. The degradation of society resulted in the decline of sophistry.
Sophistry represents the highest point in the evolution of Greek philosophy. It is also the most prominent school as to the novelty of its ideas. That was owing to the common propensity for innovation typical of Periclus Golden Age, which in its turn resulted from the establishment of the individualistic and rationalistic thinking similar to present-day mentality. Among other aspects, close attention was paid to ethnic issues; some humanistic ideas such as Master and Servant ethics and Enlightment as the primary condition of mans freedom, received scientific grounding. The genre of philosophical dialogue was developed, as well as the rationalistic scientific gnoceology, aimed at consistently opposing any religion. Dialectics, the most outstanding achievement of the Antiquity, was also worked out by the sophists. Zeno of Helleas was one of the sophists. Democrites ideas were, too, quite close to dialectics.
Socrates contemporaries regarded him ironically, as shown, for example, in the Aristophanes comedy Clouds. Nevertheless, this scholar can still be referred to as a sophist, although of somewhat weird personality. Socrates popularity, which came later, should be attributed to the fact that he was the first philosopher ever to have been sentenced and executed by law, rather than to any valuable scientific contributions. Sophistry as such, rather than Socrates, marks the line between pre-Socratic and post- Socratic schools.
Plato, with the exception of his latest works, is considered to belong to the same philosophical school. Specifically, there are valid reasons to believe that he was paid fees by his disciples. In Platos Dialogues, all points of view will be proven and then disproved, so that an integral philosophical system is hard to observe. Platos Idealism is but one of the many possible theories. His ideal philosophy is a high-minded argument of wise men. As late as towards the end of his life, Plato betrayed the ideals of sophistry, turning into the worlds first proponent of totalitarianism.
Sophistry is Greek classical literature. Later on, philosophy, as well as the entire Greek civilization, started to fall into decline. Over 500 subsequent years, Hellenistic-Roman scholars never came up with anything novel. The entire process of antique philosophical evolution can be subdivided into the following six stages: Phoenician (IXVIIth centuries B. C.), archaic (VIth the first half of IVth century B. C., classic (the epoch of sophistry: the second half of the Vth through the first decades of the IIIrd centuries B. C.), late antique (middle of the IIIrd first decades of the VI th centuries B.C.)
The fact that early in the VIth century B. C. sophistry was rejected in Athens, has a lot to do with the consequences of their defeat in Peloponnesian war, a social catastrophe. Ever since, the prevalent part of the criticism of sophistry is a criticism of sophists immoral ways of life and personalities, rather than the essentials of their philosophy. For instance, Aristotles criticism primarily concerns their pragmatism and tendency to make a profit out of teaching. However, Aristotle himself taught his disciples along similar lines, showing them how to be able to prove both opposites. It was Aristotle who summed up sophists century-long elaborations.
The traditional modern interpretation of sophists as shown in Platos dialogues appears to be groundless. The truth of the matter is that Plato regards sophists as more serious philosophers than Socrates was. It becomes especially clear in the dialogue titled Protagoras, which shows the latter as gaining an undoubted victory over Socrates. Generally speaking, Platos works never regard sophists as weak or worthless opponents.
A common opinion as to the essence of sophists, in particular, Protagorass philosophy, has hitherto not been worked out. Many researchers renounce the very existence of any specific philosophical position in sophistry. The term relativism itself now has a bad name. However, it should be borne in mind that Protagoras doctrine emerged as a result of an attempt to get out of the ontological dead-end to which the entire Greek natural philosophy had come. To this purpose, he employed Anaxagorass idea about everything comprising everything, whereupon he built his physical-ontological theory, and Zeno of Helleass concept that all objects are such and different at the same time in the same respect.
According to Protagorass philosophy, every object does not only seem, but is different from every other object, including human beings. Therefore, every person is his or her own measure of all other entities. The objective reality is the Egos relations with the outer world. Every objects essence is defined through its interaction with ourselves. Nothing remains stagnant every existence already contains non-existence, and vice-versa.
However, the relativity of being is not to be regarded as absolute. That means, that relatively stable and therefore relatively cognizable entities do exist, among them the words we say. Doubt is not considered absolute by relativists either, which differentiates them from skeptics and agnostics. They dare to believe. Uncertainty is Godly here, Protagoras becomes very close to the concept of apathetic theology.
Gorgius shared Protagorass views and tried to prove them applying the same method as Zeno applied when upholding Parmenidiss philosophy. He argued that if one accepts the opposite point of view and agrees that nothing can exist and not exist at the same time, one is bound to come to an the absurd conclusion that nothing is cognizable and nothing exists.
To prove that there is a universal contradiction within the Existence itself, Protagoras and his followers in their turn put forward a number of special logical arguments, called rules of contraries, or sophisms. The most well-known of them is the Euathles sophism, which proves that an object can be such and different at the same time in the same respect. Generally speaking, all relationships of any entity are extraneous. The idea that all entities, including concepts, exist and do not exist at the same time, was also accepted by Plato. It should be stressed, that Platos philosophy as a whole is relativists greatest achievement.
In his dispute against relativism, Aristotle put forward the main concepts of his ontology: the existence falls into the existence in possibility and the existence in reality, or substance and accidence the ever changing sublunary world and the stable world of divine heavenly bodies.
This division made his system self-contradictory to the point of absurd. Aristotle quite realized, that the direct disproof of relativism is hardly possible, which fact makes his criticism a mere tautology. It is very indicative in this respect that materialists, idealists and even skeptical agnostics applied the same arguments do disprove relativism. That demonstrates that the inner contradiction between any forms of absolutism and relativism is the most fundamental philosophical problem.
Relativist ideas were repeatedly renewed throughout history, provided the social conditions were favourable. In variations, the concepts were advanced by Tzuan Tsi and ancient Chinese sophists, apostle Paul, Nicolas of Cusa, Galileo, Rene Descartes, G. Berkley, D. Hume, Ch. S. Pierce, E. Mach, A. Bogdanov, F. de Saussure, N. Bore, P. Feuerabend, U. Quain and others. However, no consistent relativist ontological system was developed after Protagoras. Meanwhile, a valid relativist theory could provide a clue to a fuller and more adequate general physical concept of the world, and to a deeper understanding of quantum mechanics.


.. . . . 2007.


, ( ).

( ).

" " 1.

" " 2.

" " 3.



Rambler's Top100 Rambler's Top100

  20 2000 ,