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What is the difference between Socrates and the Sophists ? Not that one is good and one...

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alanajohnson

Posted March 21, 2012 at 5:40 AM via web

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What is the difference between Socrates and the Sophists ? Not that one is good and one is bad, but what are their different beliefs?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 21, 2012 at 6:20 AM (Answer #1)

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In many ways, Socrates resembled the Sophists. The evidence from Aristophanes' Clouds suggests the Socrates was considered a sophist by many people in his lifetime. In Apology, as well, Socrates admits that he is often confused with the Sophists and tries to distinguish himself from them in two ways, first by pointing out that they charge fees for teaching and he doesn't, and second that they teach public speaking and he doesn't.

It's important to note that "sophist" does not represent an ideology, but rather sophists were simply 1) distinguished public speakers and 2) taught at a tertiary level for money. That does not imply any common beliefs beyond a commitment to education.

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