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sophist

In the second half of the 5th century B.C., and especially at Athens, "sophist" came to be applied to a group of thinkers who employed debate and rhetoric to teach and disseminate their ideas and offered to teach these skills to others.

Due to the importance of such skills in the litigious social and democratic life of Athens, acclaimed teachers of such skills often commanded very high fees. The practice of taking fees, coupled with the willingness of many practitioners to use their rhetorical skills to pursue unjust lawsuits, eventually led to a decline in respect for practitioners of this form of teaching and the ideas and writings associated with it.

Protagoras is generally regarded as the first sophist. Other leading 5th-century sophists included Gorgias and Prodicus. Socrates was perhaps the first philosopher to significantly challenge the Sophists.

In modern times sophists are called publicist?s, public relations? agents or spin doctors


source: sophism - wikipedia.


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