The Art Of Rhetoric and The Art Of Sophistry (With Active Table of Contents)

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Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury, in some older texts Thomas Hobbs of Malmsbury, was an English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophy. His book Leviathan established the foundation for most of Western political philosophy from the perspective of social contract theory. Hobbes was a champion of absolutism for the sovereign but he also developed some of the fundamentals of European liberal thought: He was one of the founders of modern political philosophy.

Sophistry And Philosophy: Two Approaches To Teaching Learning

His understanding of humans as being matter and motion, obeying the same physical laws as other matter and motion, remains influential; and his account of human nature as self-interested cooperation, and of political communities as being based upon a "social contract" remains one of the major topics of political philosophy. In addition to political philosophy, Hobbes also contributed to a diverse array of other fields, including history, geometry, the physics of gases, theology, ethics, and general philosophy. Read more Read less.

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Product details File Size: December 11, Sold by: Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video. Customer reviews There are no customer reviews yet. Aristotle's evidence in the Rhetoric passage cited above indicates that the context of the claim is that of forensic oratory, and specifically that the arguments in question are arguments from what is likely or plausible, e.

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The Art Of Rhetoric and The Art Of Sophistry (With Active Table of Contents) - Kindle edition by Thomas Hobbes, Sir William Molesworth. Download it once and . Leviathan & The Art Of Rhetoric and The Art Of Sophistry (Two Books With Active Table of Contents) - Kindle edition by Thomas Hobbes, Sir William Molesworth.

In any case of this kind, where it is assumed that the facts cannot be established with certainty, considerations of what is plausible may, given sufficient ingenuity, be adduced on either side, and similar arguments can be adduced in the context of political deliberation, where the future outcome cannot be certain and the decision has to turn on the balance of probabilities.

It is likely, then, that this slogan was a sales pitch for Protagoras as a teacher of forensic and deliberative rhetoric.

How ambitious the claim was is hard to determine. It is hard to believe that he ventured to claim always to make the prima facie weaker case carry the day which is equivalent to the claim to make every case whatever carry the day , but equally implausible that he merely claimed to make the weaker case stronger than it was before he devised arguments in its favor.

Perhaps he simply claimed that he was capable, in the appropriate circumstances, of devising arguments which would turn the weaker case into the stronger one. If so, the claim was both reasonable and, despite Aristotle's strictures, not necessarily morally discreditable. Of course, a defence counsel who secured an acquittal on these grounds while knowing independently that Leon was guilty would deserve Aristotle's disapproval.

To complete our account of Protagoras' views on language and reality we need to mention the thesis that it is impossible to say what is false, which occurs in three Platonic passages, Euthydemus a—c, Theaetetus d—a and Sophist e—e. Hence, since of contradictory statements one must be false, it is not possible to contradict ouk estin antilegein Euthydemus b. In the case of the latter two the thesis connects with other more general theses about language which they are reported to have held.

Thus Cratylus has attributed to him by Plato the thesis that each thing has its own proper name, which expresses, through its etymology, the nature of the things it names, and which has significance only when correctly applied, but is otherwise a mere empty sound. Hence there can no such thing as the misapplication of a name since a misapplied name is not a name, but a mere sound , and hence no such thing as a false statement, since it is assumed every false statement involves the misapplication of some name.

Similarly Antisthenes held that each thing has its own proper definition or description, which cannot be applied to anything else, from which again the impossibility of falsehood follows. In the case of Protagoras it is hard to find any such connection. On the most plausible construal of subjectivism no one's belief can contradict anyone else's belief, but that does not appear to rule out an individual's having inconsistent beliefs.

Though Protagoras seems to have had a fairly high tolerance threshold for inconsistency, it is hard to see how one and the same person could assert both that it is impossible to contradict and that on every matter there are two opposed logoi. The wording of the attribution to Protagoras in the Euthydemus is suspiciously vague, suggesting that Plato is attributing to Socrates a vague memory of Protagorean subjectivism, rather than precise recall of any particular doctrine.

Protagoras' account of social morality in the Great Speech, according to which the universal acceptance of justice and self-restraint is necessary for the perpetuation of society, and thereby for the preservation of the human species, places Protagoras firmly on one side the conservative side, we should note of the debate about the relation between law and convention nomos on the one hand and nature or reality phusis on the other, which was central to moral and social thought in the fifth and fourth centuries.

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Why may they not as well inform the Chancellor? This statute is so far from being repugnant to that I say, as it seemeth to me to have been made expressly to confirm the same. Yet a further epistemological position is attributed to Protagoras in a papyrus fragment of the biblical commentator Didymus the Blind fourth century CE , published in Digital Rhetoric, Digital Humanities, and Internet Studies Critical code studies and human-computer interaction are only two examples among several possible where developing relationships with scholars and practitioners between these fields and digital rhetoric may be beneficial, and indeed this is certainly an incomplete map of the location of digital rhetoric with respect to other fields, disciplines, methods, and approaches. See, you lawyers, how much you are beholden to the philosopher; and it is but reason; for the more general and noble science and law of all the world, is true philosophy, of which the common law of England is a very little part.

The debate was fundamentally about the status of moral and other social norms; were such norms ever in some sense part of or grounded in the reality of things, or were they in every case mere products of human customs, conventions or beliefs? The question was crucial to the perceived authority of norms; both sides agreed in seeing nature as authoritative for correct human behavior, and as the ultimate source of true value. We find examples of the critical stance both in some Platonic dialogues and in some sophistic writings.

The starkest expression of the opposition between nomos and phusis is that expressed in the Gorgias by Callicles, a pupil of Gorgias though there is no suggestion in the dialogue or elsewhere that Gorgias himself held that position: Callicles holds that conventional morality is a contrivance devised by the weak and unintelligent to inhibit the strong and intelligent from doing what they are entitled by nature to do, viz. He is thus an inverted moralist, who holds that what it is really right to do is what it is conventionally wrong to do. The sophist Thrasymachus maintains a similar position in Book I of the Republic , though without Callicles' daring inversion of values.

He agrees with Callicles in praising the ruthless individual above all the tyrant who is capable of overcoming the restraints of morality, but whereas Callicles calls such self-assertion naturally just, Thrasymachus abides by conventional morality in calling it unjust. Both agree that a successful life of ruthless self-assertion is supreme happiness, and that that is what nature prompts us to seek; both, then, accept the normative authority of nature over nomos. The difference between them is that Callicles takes the further step of identifying the authority of nature with that of real, as opposed to conventional morality, whereas for Thrasymachus there is only one kind of morality, conventional morality, which has no authority.

In Book II Glaucon presents a modified version of Thrasymachus' position; while maintaining, as Protagoras does in the Great Speech, that humans adopt moral conventions as a necessary survival strategy in a hostile world, he insists that this involves a stunting of human nature, since people are obliged for self-protection to abandon the goal of self-satisfaction to which nature, as Thrasymachus insists, prompts them.


This assertion of egoism is supported by the thought-experiment of Gyges' ring; if, like the legendary Gyges, we had a magic ring which rendered us invisible, and hence immune from sanctions, we would all seek our own interest without restraint. We find a similar down-grading of convention in favor of nature though one lacking the immoralist conclusions in Hippias' speech in the Protagoras c—d , where he urges that intellectuals such as are gathered in the house of Callias ought not to quarrel, since, though according to artificial political conventions they are citizens of many different cities, by nature they are all akin.

The conventions which make them treat each other as strangers distort the reality by which they are all alike; hence they should recognise that reality by treating each other as friends and members of the same family, not as strangers. The vignette gains added point from the fact that Hippias, speaking in Athens, is a citizen of Elis, a Peloponnesian state allied to Sparta in the war against Athens. Nature prompts us to do only what is advantageous to us, and if we try to act contrary to its promptings we inevitably suffer for it as a natural consequence, whereas morality typically restrains us from doing what is advantageous to ourselves and requires us to do what is disadvantageous, and if we violate the requirements of morality we come to harm only if we are found out.

Legal remedies are insufficient to prevent the law-abiding person from harm, since they are applicable only after the harm has been done, and there is always the chance that the law-abiding person will lose his case anyway. Another part of the papyrus fragment B suggests that some legal norms are self-contradictory; it is just to bear true witness in court, and unjust to wrong someone who has not wronged you.

So someone who bears true witness against someone who has not wronged him e. The argument here depends on an illicit assimilation of harming with wronging: Moreover, he thereby puts himself in danger of retaliation by the person whom he has wronged; so once again obedience to nomos is disadvantageous. On the other side of the debate, as we have seen, we have Protagoras' contention in the Great Speech that law and morality are themselves natural developments, necessary for human survival and the growth of civilization.

Protagoras agrees with Glaucon that moral and legal conventions arise ultimately from the need for cooperation in a hostile world, but rejects the latter's Thrasymachean egoism, with its implication that morality is merely a second-best, to be rejected if circumstances allow the individual to pursue his natural goal of unrestrained self-interest. Morality, for Protagoras, consists in justice and self-restraint, dispositions which involve the replacement of Thrasymachean egoism by genuine regard for others as of equal moral status with oneself, and the crucial lesson of the Great Speech is that those dispositions, so far from requiring the stunting of human nature as Glaucon maintains, in fact constitute the perfection of that nature.

This defence of the authority of nomos rests on the idea that nomos itself, in the sense of legal and moral convention, arises from phusis. A different, though related, defence of nomos assumes a distinction between on the one hand the moral and legal conventions of particular societies, assumed to be the product of human agreement, and on the other certain fundamental moral norms, alleged to be common to all societies, whose origin is to be traced, not to any agreement, but to the original constitution of human nature, traditionally attributed to the creation of humans by the gods; these norms were generally agreed to include the obligations to respect one's parents and to worship the gods.

The conception of natural or unwritten law is frequently appealed to in oratory and drama, notably Sophocles' Antigone see Guthrie pp. There is, then, no uniform sophistic position in the nomos-phusis debate; different sophists, or associates of sophists, are found among the disputants on either side. Such speculations were not without their implications for the traditional Olympian pantheon; Xenophanes clearly intends to mock the cultural relativity of anthropomorphism, pointing out that different races of humans depict their gods in their own image, and suggesting that if horses and cattle could draw they would do the same DK 21B15— On the positive side he proclaims a single supreme non-anthropomorphic divinity, which appears to be identified either with the cosmos itself or with its intelligent directive force DK 21B23—6.

This type of theology is naturalistic, but non-reductive; Heraclitus is not saying that God is nothing but cosmic fire, implying that that fire is not really divine, but rather that divinity, or the divinities that matter, is not a super-hero like Apollo, but the everlasting, intelligent, self-directing cosmos itself. In the fifth century the naturalistic approach to religion exhibits a more reductive aspect, with a consequent move towards a world-view which is not merely naturalistic, but in the modern sense secular.

Some sophists contributed to that process of secularisation. It is convenient to start with Anaxagoras, who, though not generally counted as a sophist, in that he did not offer instruction in how to live or teach rhetoric, nevertheless shared the scientific interests of sophists such as Hippias, and personified the growing rationalistic approach to natural phenomena. Plato, Apology 26d , he did mean that it was nothing other than a rock, i. Plutarch's story Life of Pericles 6 of the one-horned ram neatly encapsulates the opposed world-views: Anaxagoras dissected the animal's skull and showed that the single horn grew naturally out of a deformity of the brain.

So, Plutarch reports, the people admired Anaxagoras but admired Lampon even more when Thucydides was ostracized soon afterwards. The naturalistic approach to meteorology etc. Among the phenomena for which reductive explanations were offered in the fifth century was the origin of religious belief itself. An alternative account, or rather two accounts, equally reductive, of the origin of religion is attributed to Prodicus, who is reported by various sources as holding that the names of gods were originally applied either to things which are particularly important in human life, such as the sun, rivers, kinds of crops etc.

It was presumably on the basis of this that Prodicus was counted as an atheist in antiquity Aetius I. The speaker apparently Sisyphus himself begins with the picture of primitive human origins familiar from Protagoras' Great Speech: Of course atheism expressed by a character in a play cannot be directly attributed to the author, whoever he was; this is merely one of the expressions in fifth-century drama of a wide range of attitudes to religion, ranging from outright atheism e.

But this is not all about me: A university like the Universi-. As proto- or would-be transnational. As such, it also works on a Higher Education model. The knowledge management pro-. The sophistical approach to teaching learning in the university aims to pass on institu-. It might even be said to be the. Most importantly, the sophistical approach enables students to learn strategically, to.

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It thus sees learning as a rhetoric, according to. Students continually ask after the rules of whatever academic. This is because they are learning the conventions of the uni-. They are learning to. For example, to learn the conventions of.

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Second, it appears in their assumptions about learning to learn. What does this mean for us teachers? That we cannot simply teach to the Script: However, it could be said that something is lost if we think of teaching learning in the. What is the knowledge that it aims to. It is wisdom, in keeping with the wisdom tradition of the uni-. So, over and above seeing the Script as a script.

The Sophists

How do we teachers teach in such a way that students can create their own codes? To this end, students should, as.

There is, of course, no contradiction in co-creation paired with. This is just to say that a script is often a co-write in the writing zone.