What are the main arguments advanced by the Unjust Logos in Aristophanes' Clouds?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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The argument between the two logoi, or arguments, in Aristophanes' Clouds is an exercise in personification, in which the older, traditional form of education appears on stage as the Better logos and the newer, sophistic education appears as the worse logos.

The main arguments of the better Logos are from the standpoint of ethics, desire for honour in the community, and antiquity. The Worse Logos argues mainly from expediency:

{Worse:} I'll yield the first turn to him,

And I'll take his own words and turn them around

Inventing proverbs and new catch phrases,

Using his own arrows to shoot him down

Like Protagoras, the Worse Logos claims to make the worse case appear the better, and to be able to win any argument. The ends -- personal pleasure and material success -- always are more important than the means.

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