He can only produce out of their armoury the sophism
, 'that you can neither enquire into what you know nor into what you do not know;' to which Socrates replies by his theory of reminiscence.
"Distinction of sides is intended by Nature to imply distinction of colours" -- such was the sophism
which in those days flew from mouth to mouth, converting whole towns at a time to the new culture.
There is a well known, so-called sophism
of the ancients consisting in this, that Achilles could never catch up with a tortoise he was following, in spite of the fact that he traveled ten times as fast as the tortoise.
but what you say looks very much like a sophism
, my dear philosophic friend."
Besides this, Mynheer Isaac Boxtel encouraged himself with the following sophism
So they were roaming about the world seeking and searching for this beauty, and, after having successively rejected the Queen of Golconda, the Princess of Trebizonde, the daughter of the Grand Khan of Tartary, etc., Labor and Clergy, Nobility and Merchandise, had come to rest upon the marble table of the Palais de Justice, and to utter, in the presence of the honest audience, as many sentences and maxims as could then be dispensed at the Faculty of Arts, at examinations, sophisms
, determinances, figures, and acts, where the masters took their degrees.
I had before been moved by the sophisms
of the being I had created; I had been struck senseless by his fiendish threats; but now, for the first time, the wickedness of my promise burst upon me; I shuddered to think that future ages might curse me as their pest, whose selfishness had not hesitated to buy its own peace at the price, perhaps, of the existence of the whole human race.
It may be observed that these sophisms
all occur in his cross-examination of Meletus, who is easily foiled and mastered in the hands of the great dialectician.
Will they not be sophisms
captivating to the ear, having nothing in them genuine, or worthy of or akin to true wisdom?
"Do what you feel is right; obey me, and even in the sloughs of want I will plant for you firm footing." And then, as I walked fast along the road, there rose upon me a strange, inly-felt idea of some Great Being, unseen, but all present, who in His beneficence desired only my welfare, and now watched the struggle of good sad evil in my heart, and waited to see whether I should obey His voice, heard in the whispers of my conscience, or lend an ear to the sophisms
by which His enemy and mine--the Spirit of Evil --sought to lead me astray.
Happily for mankind, stupendous fabrics reared on the basis of liberty, which have flourished for ages, have, in a few glorious instances, refuted their gloomy sophisms
. And, I trust, America will be the broad and solid foundation of other edifices, not less magnificent, which will be equally permanent monuments of their errors.
In ancient times, before the influence of sophism
, differences in power and ability were covered by a protocol in which the values of magnanimity and gratitude loomed large.