The sophists were a group of traveling teachers and philosophers in ancient Greece. They had a very different mind set than most of Athens. They argued that the human mind simply can not understand the universe, it was beyond our reach. True wisdom was being able to pursue and percieve ones own good. Sophists believed it was more important for individuals to improve and work on themselves. For them, there was so absolute right or wrong. They're goal was to learn how to argue effectively, not to promote certain ideas or beliefs and so they sold their services as teachers to the young men of Greece, mainly Athens. Sophists wanted to stress the importance of rhetoric, which is the art of persuasive speaking in winning debates and swaying an audience. This skill proved to be very important in the future democratic Athens. It was also useful for any young nobleman looking for public office. They became known for their dexterous ability to argue both sides of an issue. The sophists of ancient Greece taught for the greater good and only wanted to make an influential impact on the world but many viewed them as harmful to society and a corruption to the values of young people.
Socrates (470-399 B.C.) was one of the most original, inspiring, and controversial sophists in ancient Greek philosophy. He changed philosophy from being about nature and the universe toward an examination of moral problems and how people should best live their lives. However he left no writings so the only information we have about Socrates comes from his pupils. We know he taught many people how to live their life by a code of ethics and accepted no pay. He firmly believed people could be happy by living moral lives and could be taught how to behave morally. He also believed that all real knowledge is already present inside each person and only critical examination is needed to bring it about. The quote "The unexamined life is not worth living." comes from Socrates. He invented the "socratic...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document