Alphadictionary.com

Our Sponsors

Technical Translation
Website Translation Clip Art
 

SOPHISTRY

Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.

SOPHISTRY

Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:42 pm

• sophistry •


Pronunciation: sah-fis-tree • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. (Mass noun) The pretense of reasoning; plausible but deviously false argumentation. 2. (Count noun) A plausible but deviously false argument.

Notes: Sophistry is what sophists resort to. A sophistic argument is compelling but completely misleading. Although such an argument requires a level of guileful sophistication, sophistication and sophistry must not be confused. Sophistry is the pretense of reasoning usually by someone whose mind is already set and cannot be changed by any amount of reasoning.

In Play: Beware of sophistry hiding base motives, such as greed: "The rationale behind the outlandish compensation packages received by some US CEOs is pure sophistry." Sophistry is not accidental; it is the result of intentional guile: "All of Derry Yare's arguments for buying a company airplane boil down to sophistry from someone who wants a plane for his own private use."

Word History: The original Sophists were 5th century BCE Greek philosophers who Plato demonstrated were superficial manipulators of logic. In Greek they are called sophistes from sophizesthai "to become wise", a verb based on sophos "wise". So, in ancient Greek the term was not pejorative. We don't know where sophos came from, but we do know where it went. That is it in philosophy, the love of wisdom (philos "love"). It is also the root of Sophia, as in St. Sophia, the wise woman chosen to be the patron saint of the Eastern Orthodox Church when it separated from the Roman Catholic Church in 1054. The Roman Church had chosen a man, St. Peter, whose name means "rock, stone", as its patron saint. Were the leaders of the Orthodox Church thinking of eventual remarriage when they broke off from Rome? (Today we thank Mark Cavallo of Haddon Township, New Jersey for the wisdom he showed in suggesting today's Good Word.)
• The Good Dr. Goodword
User avatar
Dr. Goodword
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3565
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:28 am
Location: Lewisburg, PA

Re: SOPHISTRY

Postby MTC » Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:42 am

Examples of sophistry from the NRA playbook:

1.)

Sophistry:
We should not enact a law which extends background checks on gun purchases because extended background checks would not stop all gun carnage. Undesirable gun owners would just go elsewhere to buy their guns.

Ans:
Extended background checks would stop or impede some gun carnage, however. Speed limit signs don't stop all road carnage, but we still put them up. Laws act incrementally.

2.)

Sophistry:
Because there is a Constitutional right to bear arms extended background checks should not be enacted.

Ans:
There are limits to the Second Amendment which does not guarantee criminals and the mentally ill the right to "bear arms."

3.)

Sophistry:
Just arm everyone. Then everyone would be safe. We don't need background checks, extended or otherwise.

Ans:
Statistics show the availability of guns in the general populace only increases the liklihood of gun violence.

Etc.

I propose national "disgrace" as the next Goodword.
MTC
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1070
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Pasadena

Re: SOPHISTRY

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:19 pm

I'm not sure truth or falsity is always applicable in the use of sophistry. It's more like changing the subject by leaving earth and going above it to cloud the issue. To me there is a haughtiness in sophistry, not backed up by true wisdom.
pl
Perry Lassiter
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2392
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: RUSTON, LA

Re: SOPHISTRY

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:29 pm

Sophomore - from the Greek.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
User avatar
LukeJavan8
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 3481
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: Land of the Flat Water

Re: SOPHISTRY

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:59 pm

When a lowly freshman passes to the status of sophomore he knows more than anyone else in the world. Hence the name.

I know a religion, claiming to be Christian, that has two gods. One is Jesus and the other is Sophia. In their wedding, a couple play the parts of Jesus and Sophia in the ritual. I attended one such wedding. Ordinarily Sophia, representing wisdom, is taken to be a symbolism.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
Philip Hudson
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1781
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:41 am
Location: Texas

Re: SOPHISTRY

Postby MTC » Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:54 am

Now that I have cooled down from white hot to merely red hot on the issue of gun control, let me apologize to the Goodwordians for politicizing a forum whose proper focus is words--not politics. Sorry if I was boorish with my rant.

In partial defense, politics is a cesspool of sophistry . I'll leave it at that.
MTC
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1070
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Pasadena

Re: SOPHISTRY

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:04 am

No need to apologize MTC. What good are words if they are not used in discussion?
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
Philip Hudson
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1781
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:41 am
Location: Texas

Re: SOPHISTRY

Postby misterdoe » Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:12 pm

MTC, all you did was what William Safire did every week in the Sunday New York Times for decades. No harm done.
misterdoe
Lexiterian
 
Posts: 340
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:21 am
Location: New York City area

Re: SOPHISTRY

Postby call_copse » Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:46 am

MTC wrote:Now that I have cooled down from white hot to merely red hot on the issue of gun control, let me apologize to the Goodwordians for politicizing a forum whose proper focus is words--not politics. Sorry if I was boorish with my rant.

In partial defense, politics is a cesspool of sophistry . I'll leave it at that.


I for one enjoyed the insight into your thoughts and do not consider your ire misplaced. We don't entertain such types much in the UK, indeed they are from an entirely different planet as far as I can see. I struggle to understand the placing of profit and corporate motives above life and dislike being counted in the same species, so would no doubt struggle further to be in the same country.
Iain
User avatar
call_copse
Lexiterian
 
Posts: 303
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:42 am
Location: Southampton

Re: SOPHISTRY

Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:10 pm

About 20 years ago I caught on Public Broadcasting the British Parliament hearing a report from the Prime Minister. Until that point, I had considered the English a rather reserved people, hiding their emotions. NOT SO, at least in parliament. They loudly deride the PM or the other side, speaking and questioning in sneering tones.

As hostile as our two sides are to each other, I've never seen such a display in our congressional debates. Occasional flare ups, of course, and mainly in subcommittee hearings. But never like the British I've seen in a couple dozen viewings with both conservative and labor PM's. Nor have I seen such glee on a politicians death, even an unpopular one, tho I suppose the media hyped the rudeness of a few.
pl
Perry Lassiter
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2392
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: RUSTON, LA

Re: SOPHISTRY

Postby gailr » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:32 pm

I will point out to the Member from Louisiana that I used to love watching Parliament relayed for US broadcast. It was exciting in a way that CSPAN is not. (CSPAN can be infuriating at times, but exciting? Not so much.) It has the feel of a rugby scrum in suits. If conducted in full judicial wigs it would be even better!

CSPAN might be, too.
User avatar
gailr
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1945
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 11:40 am

Re: SOPHISTRY

Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:33 pm

They remind me of some Baptist church business meetings!
pl
Perry Lassiter
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2392
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: RUSTON, LA

Re: SOPHISTRY

Postby call_copse » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:50 am

Perry Lassiter wrote:...Nor have I seen such glee on a politicians death, even an unpopular one, tho I suppose the media hyped the rudeness of a few.


Rudeness may be a relatively polite response to the devastation that lady caused to so many people's lives in this country, depending on your position of course - she clearly represented the perpetuation and extension of privilege for those already possessed of such, and the privileged benefited handsomely - but our manufacturing base is not likely to ever return. She may have performed some necessary tasks for the country but she did not accomplish them effectively in my book. Her unrepentant opinion that Mandela is a terrorist clearly represents an alien outlook to my own.
Iain
User avatar
call_copse
Lexiterian
 
Posts: 303
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:42 am
Location: Southampton

Re: SOPHISTRY

Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:32 am

gailr wrote:I will point out to the Member from Louisiana that I used to love watching Parliament relayed for US broadcast. It was exciting in a way that CSPAN is not. (CSPAN can be infuriating at times, but exciting? Not so much.) It has the feel of a rugby scrum in suits. If conducted in full judicial wigs it would be even better!

CSPAN might be, too.




I enjoyed that as well, loved it actually. Too bad it is no
longer with us.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
User avatar
LukeJavan8
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 3481
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: Land of the Flat Water

Re: SOPHISTRY

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:22 pm

I should think that respect for the office of prime minister would lend itself to the person who holds the office. Hence, Margaret Thatcher might have some respect due her even if she was not the best of prime ministers. But then I see how very much some people hate our president, so I suppose I should understand. America has had some great presidents that have been reviled. There were picketers at the opening of the Bush Library in Dallas. Some Americans still deny President Obama is an American Citizen, as daft as that is.

I am of English ancestry and an Anglophile, but not an English citizen. So I should best leave British politics alone.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
Philip Hudson
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1781
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:41 am
Location: Texas


Return to Good Word Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests

cron