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As Sophists ( ancient Greek σοφισταί sophistai , Latin sophistae ) is a group of men from the ancient Greeks called, possessed the special knowledge in theoretical (mathematics and geometry) or the practical sphere (crafts, music, poetry), in the strict sense, especially educationalists and rhetoricians who made their living imparting their knowledge. They worked from around 450 BC. Until about 380 BC The term sophist originally referred to "all who were famous for their wisdom: Pythagoras, Thales, statesmen, culture bringer, poets and other 'wise men'". In the 5th century, sophists also included professional teachers, experts who imparted their knowledge and skills to others. Solon and Pythagoras were called sophists, and Socrates , Antisthenes and Plato were sometimes called that by contemporaries.

The sophists were not a cohesive philosophical current, nor were there any sophistic schools. They had an enlightened attitude towards religion. They assumed that the gods do not direct human destiny without denying their existence. The latter would have led to exile or - as in the case of Socrates - to the death penalty, in accordance with the Asebie laws . They wanted to help young men acquire knowledge and skills with which they could contribute to the existence of the polis and pursue their own interests in the course of their public duties . What they had in common was their activity as a traveling teacher , for which they traveled through the cities of the Greek world at that time (especially the Peloponnese , Thessaly , southern Italy ). The center of sophistry , that is to say of the doctrine and intellectual history represented by the sophists , was the city of Athens , which was in its prime .

For a long time, the philosophical assessment of the sophists was strongly (and still is) shaped by the negative image that Plato , Aristophanes and Aristotle, and consequently philosophical historians, drew from the Platonic-Aristotelian perspective. There are now z. B. under the keyword "rehabilitation" a recognition of the sophistic movement, which among other things ascribes an important role to it in the contemporary educational politics of Athens. The sources beyond Plato and Aristotle are very poor. Historians of philosophy often count the sophists among the pre-Socratics .

Rhetorical figures that do not proceed truth preserving, but false conclusions should cause, are often called sophistry called. In the educated middle class discourse of the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries, sophistry was also used as a derogatory term for rabidism , and to this day the word sophist also describes a word stealer or swindler who deliberately argued wrongly in order to enforce a point of view on a topic.

Origin and structure of the sophistic teaching

In the second half of the 5th century BC The city of Athens was in its cultural heyday. Last but not least, the young Attic democracy , in which popular politicians could go far, created a need for instruction in all subjects that should enable political activity. As teachers, the sophists satisfied this, but also imparted general education in the broadest sense, such as cosmology, grammar, interpretation of the poets, mythology, state philosophy, religious philosophy, cultural history, law, natural science, mathematics, etc. They subsequently also became universal scholars or the encyclopedists of antiquity. Her most important training subject, however, was rhetoric , which was generally considered to be necessary for political success in democratic votes.

The sophistic activity took a wide variety of forms, such as life counseling, legal and political advice, educational activity in wealthy houses, assistance in litigation, lectures, public disputations and solemn speeches. For their lessons, the sophists probably put together a wide variety of materials in a fairly systematic manner, which they had gained from political practice, from traditional family knowledge and from dealing with statesmen. Experience of judicial practice, the main part of which was speeches, was certainly also incorporated. Different information is available about the sums of money that the sophists have demanded. According to some reports, they were sometimes excessively high. In theory, since the sophists, it has been possible not only for the aristocracy, but in principle for all people to be trained. Who could actually afford the lessons and who couldn't, remains questionable. The Sophists (with the possible exception of Gorgias) had no permanent students or followers, as was the case with Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.


Representatives of the sophistry were:

Sophistic teaching

The presentation of a “doctrine” of the Sophists is based on poor sources. The oldest sources are quotations from Plato's dialogues and from the writings of Aristotle as well as a few short texts and fragments. The authenticity and reliability of the texts attributed to the Sophists is controversial. It cannot be proven to what extent texts about individual sophists apply to all. Most philosophers and historians of philosophy have assumed this over the centuries.

Already in the 6th / 5th Century BC With their explanations of the world , men like Anaximander , Pythagoras , Xenophon , Parmenides and Herakleitos had made it clear that among the Greeks the credibility of the myth that the gods were world creators and determined the life of man was dissolved. The old worldview, experienced as inadequate, promotes the emergence of philosophical thinking. "Nobody knows the truth about the gods," said Xenophanes. Many people thought about their life in a different way than before. Ideas for a way of life without gods myths were already - u. a. as sayings of the Seven Wise Men and other knowledgeable people - in circulation. People should z. B. free from the views and values ​​of their “producers”. It was also recommended that you acquire your own knowledge and skills in order to cope with life. In addition, new cults and movements emerged from the religious tradition, e.g. B. Orphics , Bakchichians , Pythagoreans , who brought people together who implemented new ideas for a successful, individual life with others.

Protagoras was one of the first to call himself a sophist in the sense mentioned here. His knowledge and advice were valued by many Athenians. His writings were later burned when he was convicted of Asebie . He died on the run. Like Xenophanes , he assumed that people cannot know whether there are gods and what they are like. Protagoras also maintained that every person sees things and facts in his own way and judges accordingly. In this sense, for Protagoras, man was “the measure of all things”. As a result, he - and presumably others as well - preferred the individual to the general. How people speak, how people judge themselves, others and facts, what action they consider positive is decided by people. Laws, ethics and language are products of people as a result of shared beliefs. Cultural techniques are therefore not gradations of absolute truths. Others - such as B. Thrasymachos, Gorgias as well - consequently assumed that generally applicable things - such as laws - served the interests of certain social groups. Hippias from Elis is said to have claimed that the applicable laws force people to act against their nature. Callicles - one of the tyrants according to Perikleischen - said that the stronger, as in his opinion nature demands, should prevail.

Aristotle reported in the 2nd book of politics that individual sophists made very far-reaching political demands. Lycophron is said to have called for the abolition of noble privileges. Alkidamas and others wanted to abolish slavery. Phaleas of Chalcedon demanded equal ownership, education and collective management for all free citizens.

A work by the sophist Gorgias has come down to us through Sextus Empiricus , which deals with the puzzling question of “what is and what is not”. According to Vorländer it was called Von der Natur or the non-existent . With his didactic poem Parmenides had given an enigmatic answer on a similar topic, which is still the cause of many interpretations today. Gorgias' answer also contained a riddle: 1. Nothing exists. 2. But if something existed, it would be incomprehensible to humans. 3. But if it were also comprehensible, it would still be inexpressible and not communicable. Such was not understood by many contemporaries or by later philosophers. This flowed into the negative evaluation of sophistic thinking. Occasionally this has been interpreted in such a way that such paradoxical statements would only make sense if they were interpreted as a negation of the one objective truth. In the same way, the following sophistic contradiction can be resolved: Protagoras is supposed to have said that every conviction is true, Gorgias, on the other hand, is supposed to have asserted that every conviction is false.

The sophists also studied grammar and syntax . They examined the parts of sentences, word usage, synonyms and etymology . Protagoras is credited with having established the first grammatical criteria. Prodikos wrote and gave lectures on synonymy and linguistics. Lectures on ethics have also come down to us from him.

Hippias from Elis was one of the sophists who was well versed in all the arts and knowledge of his time. He was also a teacher, philosopher and a respected participant in the Olympic Games . A monument was erected in his hometown of Elis - near Olympia - while he was still alive. He dealt with astronomy, mathematics, mnemonics , chronology, legends and ethnology, theory of the arts and taught in these disciplines. He gave moral exhortations and was a poet and artisan.


“Sophistry is [...] the art of confusing the true with the false through false dialectics and of acquiring applause and wealth through disputes, contradictions and chattering; Sophistic therefore means deceptive, sophistry a captivating reasoning. ”The disdain for sophistic philosophizing does not only run through the history of philosophy. It has also been used in German for centuries. Persuaders , twisting words , gossipers , and deceivers have been terms for negatively assessed philosophers and scholars since the end of the 15th century. Representatives of the "false, pagan" philosophy were called "sophists". Even in modern everyday usage , sophistic stands for subtle and / or hair-splitting . Synonym for sophistic are pedantic , petty , sophisticated , perceptive , overly precise and overstretched . In connection with contemporary media culture, it is claimed that the ancient sophists put on a show, boasted about their expertise, mixed up the usual political life, manipulated the youth and " achieved star and cult status in the panhellenic public".


For a long time the qualitative difference between sophistic rhetoric or morality on the one hand and the standpoint of Plato and Aristotle was emphasized in the history of philosophy. The point of view of the latter was - so it was asserted - characterized above all by a more highly developed morality and scientific conception. Against the Christian background of philosophy, this statement was formative for the devaluation of the sophists. You will be denied philosophical achievements. Individual authors named sophistic thinking - in the spirit of Plato and Aristotle - as a danger to virtue, science and life in Athens. They blamed the sophistic movement for the revaluation of traditional Greek values. The view that sophists were not really philosophers persisted for centuries. In the meantime, more recent studies have taken into account the possibility that sophistic thinking could have been the expression of a generally changed spirit of the times that influenced the socio-political changes in Athens in the 6th / 5th centuries. Century accompanied. However, the sources only allow a very limited review of this possibility. The politicians Callicles and Critias are also called sophists in the broader sense ; Euripides and the historians Herodotus and Thucydides were heavily influenced by sophistry .

The utterances concerning them in Plato's dialogues were of great effect for the reception of sophistic thought. Plato had given another positive description in his dialogue Protagoras . In other writings, his criticism became increasingly harsh and their way of teaching was mocked. Finally, in the Sophistes , the term sophist was given a very negative meaning. Plato's devaluation of his sophistic contemporaries and fellow citizens was firstly justified philosophically. A sophist is only concerned with the art of fighting ( eristics ) and the art of speaking rhetoric , whereas a real philosopher like Socrates is concerned with researching the truth. Second, he polemicized the fact that the sophists had asked for money for their lessons. Employment was generally rated low at the time. According to Plato, virtue and wisdom are not for sale. George B. Kerferd and Hellmut Flashar call at least some of the Platonic statements an "unhistorical construction." However, this strongly influenced the later image of sophistry. In his History of Greek Thinkers, Theodor Gomperz proposed his own contemporary “unhistorical construction”. One should imagine a sophist as "half professor and half journalist" who is knowledgeable, eloquent and combative for his philosophy. In this way one could possibly correct the traditional image of a sophist as the “proclaimer of doctrines that are harmful to the community”.

Even Aristotle 'image of the Sophists is characterized by the Plato. He described the sophistic wisdom as merely “apparent, not real, and the sophist earns money with apparent, but not real, wisdom.” The Aristotelian view became a determining factor for later judgments about sophists. The widespread negative assessment of the sophists, which also refers to their work against - sometimes very high - pay, was not uncontested in ancient Greece ( Philostratos : "[...] which by the way was not reprehensible, since we do things that are something cost more seriously than those that are free ”).

Mark Aurel wrote pejoratively in his self-contemplations : "Also when I began to study philosophy they [the gods] prevented me from falling into the hands of a sophist or from spoiling my time with such a writer or from letting me solve their fallacies" .

Modern times

Until about 1800 the scientific exploration of antiquity began, all representations of the sophistry were strongly influenced by the negative image of Plato and Aristotle. Our own philosophical views in modern times led, depending on the situation, to a greater or lesser appreciation of sophistry.

In his early writings, for example in his martyr song Ein neue Lied wir auf den 1523, Martin Luther referred to the representatives of the old faith as sophists , meaning a speculative scholasticism that was remote from the Bible .

Kant assigned the sophists to skepticism . For Kant, skepticism was the means to “escape his dogmatic slumber”. The sophists even denied the reliability of experience, which for Kant was the beginning of all knowledge. That was too far for Kant. He claimed that she understood the good meaning of the term sophist i. S. v. Scholars would have destroyed. He devalued them by z. B. claimed that as a courtesy they "knocked out" pseudo-clever principles. He also used the term sophist for other philosophers who had similar negative characteristics as the ancient sophists.

Hegel was the first to break with this image in 1805/1806, for which sophistry was the antithesis of the natural philosophy that preceded it. In contrast to the latter, with the sophists it is the thinking and perceiving subject that determines his own thoughts and perceptions. They wanted to train reflective people who would find out for themselves "what is binding for them". They gave reasons for this that were often no worse than what Plato had Socrates say. He considered her commitment to the education of young people to be particularly meritorious. Hegel missed - despite all the appreciation for her reflective educational approach - the lack of an objective intellectual principle. That is why Hegel called her thinking "rather reasoning".

A short time later, Schleiermacher introduced another U-turn in the introductions to his Plato translations 1804–1809. He referred to the sophistry as Doxosophia (Meinerei), Friedrich Ast even called it in 1807 “the universal power of evil.” At the other end of the scale was George Grote , who saw the sophists in 1859 as an important part of Attic democracy and the Plato-loyal reception was sharp criticized. He opposed dismissing the sophists as amoral and intellectually destructive. Overall, a "distant and reserved attitude towards sophistry dominated the 19th century."

Also in the philosophy stories - e.g. B. at Lange - a "salvation of honor" of the sophists took place. He held them in the general framework of "the average Hellenic morality for brave and blameless men". For a long time he assessed Protagoras as “a great, decisive turning point in the history of Greek philosophy” because he was the first to start from the “spiritual nature” of man. In contrast to Plato, who wanted to find something immutable beyond the sensually perceptible “shadow world”, Protagoras insisted that people have to be content with sensual perceptions if they want to find something reliable. Lange agreed with this sensualistic approach, pointing out that Plato had nothing but a "deeply founded inkling" of a hidden truth. However, he rejected Protagoras' theoretical “world view of an unconditional relativism” with regard to the “fatal consequences”: “For a person only that which appears right and good to him every time is right and good”. He therefore judged "that sophistry was a corrosive element in the Hellenic culture".

Wilhelm Windelband considered the "Perception Theory of Protagoras" - how everything appears to me, so it is for me, like you, so it is for you (question 1) - as the only sophistic doctrine that "the value of permanent validity and scientific Fertility ”. Democritus and Plato would have represented more positive and more forward-looking views here by assigning the ability to thinking to "generally valid knowledge", i.e. H. To enable knowledge of truth. In view of the further development of philosophizing in the sense of a philosophical view of the world, Protagorean sensualism must therefore be given up.

Even archaeologists - such as B. Eduard Meyer - with a Christian theologically educated judgment contributed to the fact that the sophistry came into disrepute as “sophistry”. Above all, the Protagorean view that every individual has his own point of view gave rise to this. If only individual views held, how should sophistic students learn to improve their thinking and acting? Meyer assumed that, as a result of the sophistic teaching, they tended to unscrupulously advocate negative ethical goals because they did not have a suitable criterion. This would have meant the moral and intellectual downfall of the Greek nation.

Friedrich Nietzsche takes an extreme position in the evaluation of the sophists . Perhaps because of his pronounced rejection of the philosophers Socrates and Plato, he rehabilitated their opponents and described the sophists as "concentrated figures of the highest order." For Nietzsche, the sophists are the representatives of that "culture of the most impartial knowledge of the world". While Plato, according to Nietzsche, fled from reality in ideal and morality, the sophists were courageous "realists" who were able to take things as they really are. Thucydides is said to be the last representative of this ancient Greek instinct for facts and Nietzsche opposes him as a "human thinker" to the philosopher in general.

Theodor Gomperz described the sophists as polymaths, speakers and writers who - like the journalists and writers of his time - were distinguished by their quick-wittedness and willingness to fight. According to Gomperz's interpretation, the “proposition of man as the measure of all things” had epistemological significance. Together with his interpretation of the Homo-Mensura-theorem, he believed that he could defend the sophistry and especially Protagoras against the accusation of "comprehensive skepticism". He considered the homo-mensura sentence to be an abstract, general statement that need not be understood in the sense of an unconditional relativism. Things exist for us only because we perceive them, Protagoras wanted to say. In this respect, human nature is the measure of the existence of things. The human being must not reject the perceptual abilities. Otherwise he is forced to mistrust his mental abilities - to the detriment of establishing truth criteria. Protagoras could only have meant it that way, because he stands in the tradition of the philosophy of Herakleitos and Parmenides, who assigned the knowledge of truth to thinking.

Werner Jaeger in 1933 represented a differentiated, overall positive assessment of sophistry . It was primarily an "educational movement", "from the outset not popular education, but leadership education." With the end of the aristocracy's unrestricted legitimacy to rule, a new leadership class formed and an essential condition for being able to assert oneself as a politician in a democracy, was training to be a speaker. "All in all, the new men represented a first-rate educational history."

In the second half of the 20th century, a differentiated picture of sophistry prevailed, with individual studies on special topics dominating. Overall representations were attempted by George B. Kerferd in 1981 and Thomas Buchheim in 1986. From a Christian perspective, the judgment on the Sophists was still devastating. Their philosophy is dangerous, they abuse human thinking and they lacked maturity of spirit. The sophists were only interested in power. They were seducers.

In the meantime it has become questionable among scholars whether one should ascribe to the sophists a wrong philosophical view while assigning the correct one to Plato. The topos “the overcoming of sophistry by Plato” is “mostly taken over without questioning and uncritically”. Behind this is the conception of the history of philosophy, which assumes a “unilinear development” of thought. If one ignored this assumption, a different assessment might result.


In spite of their fame and, at least sometimes, the wealth they have attained, no images of sophists have survived. A figure believed to be Protagoras is probably portraying someone else after all, and the numerous teaching scenes on antique vases cannot be clearly identified as a sophistic activity.

See also

Source collections

With German translation
  • Wilhelm Nestle (ed.): The pre-Socratics translated and edited , Diederichs, Jena 1908 (some new editions), ( digitized ) the 2nd edition, 1922, pp. 68-104
  • Thomas Schirren , Thomas Zinsmaier (ed.): The Sophists. Selected texts. Greek / German. Reclam, Stuttgart 2003 ISBN 3-15-018264-6 - The most important texts and fragments with introduction.
With Italian translation
  • Mario Untersteiner : I sofisti. Testimonianze e frammenti (4 volumes). La Nuova Italia, Florence 1949–1962; Introduzione di Giovanni Reale , con la collaborazione di AM Battegazzore. Bompiani, Milan 2009.


For literature on the pre-Socratics see: pre-Socratics # literature

On the Greek sophistry ("First Sophistry")

  • Carl Joachim Classen : The Greek Sophistics in Research of the Last Thirty Years . In: Lampas , No. 8, 1975, pp. 344-363.
  • Carl Joachim Classen (Ed.): Sophistik , Darmstadt 1976
  • Thomas Buchheim: The sophistry as the avant-garde of normal life . Meiner, Hamburg 1986 ISBN 3-7873-0687-0 (much-cited, demanding monograph)
  • Jan Dreßler: Twisted words, weirdos, godless: criticism of philosophy and rhetoric in Classical Athens. Berlin / Boston 2014.
  • Daniel von Fromberg: Democratic Philosophers. Sophism as a tradition of critical knowledge production in the context of its creation . Westphalian steam boat, Münster 2007, ISBN 978-3-89691-668-6 .
  • Manfred Fuhrmann : The ancient rhetoric. An introduction. Artemis and Winkler, 4th edition, Zurich 1995 ISBN 3-7608-1304-6 (concise and easily understandable presentation, which also includes the sophistry)
  • George B. Kerferd: The sophistic movement. Cambridge 1981
  • Helga Scholten , The Sophistics. A threat to the religion and politics of the polis? Akademie Verlag, Berlin 2003 ( review on H-Soz-u-Kult , 2003).
  • Beatrice Wyss, Rainer Hirsch-Luipold , Solmeng-Jonas Hirschi (eds.): Sophists in Hellenism and Imperial Era . Places, methods and persons of educational delivery . Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2017, ISBN 978-3-16-154591-7 .

On the Roman sophistry ("Second Sophistry")

  • Graham Anderson: The Second Sophistic. A Cultural Phenomenon in the Roman Empire , London / New York 1993.
  • Barbara Borg (Ed.): Paideia: the world of the second sophistic (= Millennium Studies on Culture and History of the First Millennium AD , Volume 2). De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2004, ISBN 3-11-018231-9 ( online ).
  • Glen Bowersock : Greek Sophists in the Roman Empire , Oxford 1969.
  • Maud W. Gleason: Making Men.Sophists and Self-Presentation in Ancient Rome , Princeton 1995.
  • Simon Goldhill (Ed.): Being Greek under Rome: cultural identity, the Second Sophistic, and the development of empire . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2001, ISBN 0-521-66317-2
  • Martin Korenjak : audience and speakers. Their interaction in the sophistic rhetoric of the imperial era (= Zetemata 104). Munich 2000.
  • Donald Andrew Russell : Greek Declamation , Cambridge a. a. 1983.
  • Thomas Schmitz : Education and Power. On the social and political function of the second sophistry in the Greek world of the imperial era (= Zetemata 97), Munich 1997.
  • Simon Swain: Hellenism and Empire. Language, Classicism, and Power in the Greek World, AD 50-250 , Oxford 1996.
  • Tim Whitmarsh: Greek Literature and the Roman Empire. The Politics of Imitation , Oxford 2001.
  • Tim Whitmarsh: The Second Sophistic. Greece & Rome (= New Surveys in the Classics 35). Cambridge 2005.


  • Paweł Janiszewski, Krystyna Stebnicka, Elżbieta Szabat: Prosopography of Greek Rhetors and Sophists of the Roman Empire. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2015, ISBN 978-0-19-871340-1

Web links


  1. See Jan Dreßler: Wortverdreher, eccentric, godless. Berlin / Boston 2014, p. 15f.
  2. Jan Dreßler: Philosophy vs. Religion. The Asebie Trials against Anaxagoras, Protagoras and Socrates . Norderstedt 2010, pp. 29-62.
  3. Cf. Berno Bahro: The rehabilitation of the sophistry - the sophists as enlighteners? Potsdam 2003. - Ulrike u. Peter Riemer: Xenophobia - Philoxenia . Stuttgart 2005, pp. 157-176. - Dion of Prusa: the philosopher and his image . Tübingen 2009, p. 112, 183.- Jan Dreßler: Word twists , eccentricities , godless: criticism of philosophy and rhetoric in classical Athens. Berlin / Boston 2014, pp. 1–30.
  4. ^ Thomas Buchenheim: Sophistik; sophistic; Sophist. Section I . In: Joachim Ritter u. a. (Ed.): Historical dictionary of philosophy . Volume 9, Schwabe, Basel 1995, Sp. 1075-1082, here: 1075.
  5. Cf. on the whole section Karl Vorländer: History of Philosophy. Volume 1, Leipzig 1919, 5th edition, pp. 60-64. - Friedrich Albert Lange: History of materialism and criticism of its significance in the present . Frankfurt am Main 1974, pp. 30-42. - Johannes Hirschberger: Brief Philosophy History . Freiburg i. B. 1966, 6th edition, pp. 19-22. - Wilhelm Windelband: Textbook of the history of philosophy. Tübingen 61912, p. 85.
  6. See Diels: pre-Socratic fragments . Xenophanes, Frg. 34. Herakleitos Frge. 35, 73f. - Eduard Meyer: History of Antiquity . Darmstadt 1965, 4th ed., Vol. 3, pp. 661-693.
  7. Pericles had commissioned him to write a constitution for a new state in southern Italy.
  8. "How everything appears to me, so it is for me, like you, so it is for you" (frg. 1) Quoted in Johannes Hirschberger : History of Philosophy . Vol. 1, Freiburg i. B. 1976, p. 55.
  9. The view of most historians that sophists were relativists relates to these Protagorean assumptions. Others counted the sophists among the sensualists . Cf. Friedrich Albert Lange: History of materialism and criticism of its significance in the present. Frankfurt am Main 1974 a. Wilhelm Windelband : Textbook of the history of philosophy . Tübingen 1912, 6th edition, p. 73 ff. - Raoul Richter called Protagoras "the most pioneering representative of skepticism ". That. Skepticism in Philosophy , Volume 1., Leipzig 1923. Reprint 2011, p. 10.
  10. Friedrich Überweg : Outline of the history of philosophy from Thales to the present . Part I, Berlin 1865, p. 71.
  11. See Wilhelm Windelband: Textbook of the History of Philosophy . Tübingen 1912, 6th edition, p. 71. - Elmar Siebenborn: The doctrine of language correctness and its criteria: Studies on ancient normative grammar . Amsterdam 1976, pp. 15f and 51.
  12. See also Eduard Meyer : Geschichte des Altertums . Darmstadt 1965, 4th edition, vol. 4, p. 1.
  13. Kirchner, Friedrich / Michaëlis, Carl: Dictionary of basic philosophical terms . Leipzig 51907, p. 585. Similarly, Eisler, Rudolf: Dictionary of philosophical terms . Volume 2, Berlin 1904, p. 411.
  14. Jan Ross: The new sophists . DIE ZEIT from January 17th, 2002.
  15. See e.g. B. Rudolf Eisler : Philosophers' Lexicon . Volume 2. Berlin 1904, p. 411; Karl Vorländer : History of Philosophy, Vol. 1 . Leipzig 1919, p. 69; Johannes Hirschberger : Small history of philosophy. Freiburg i. B. 1961, pp. 20-22.
  16. See Jan Dreßler: Wortverdreher, eccentric, godless . Berlin / Boston 2014, p. 6.
  17. ^ Wilhelm Windelband: Textbook of the history of philosophy . Tübingen 1912, 6th edition, p. 58f.
  18. George B. Kerferd, Hellmut Flashar: Origin and essence of the sophistry . In: Hellmut Flashar (ed.): Outline of the history of philosophy. The philosophy of antiquity . Volume 2/1, Schwabe, Basel 1998, pp. 3–10, here: p. 5.
  19. ^ Albert Christian Sellner (ed.): Theodor Gomperz: Greek thinkers. Vol. 1. Frankfurt a. M. 1999 (reprint of the 4th edition), p. 343.
  20. Aristotle, Sophistic Refutations . 165a21-165a23.
  21. George B. Kerferd, Hellmut Flashar: Origin and essence of the sophistry . In: Hellmut Flashar (ed.): Outline of the history of philosophy. The philosophy of antiquity . Volume 2/1, Schwabe, Basel 1998, pp. 3–10, here: p. 7.
  22. ^ Philostratus: Appolonius of Tyana . I 3, 4, Aalen 1970, Scientia.
  23. The section on modern reception is tight: George B. Kerferd, Hellmut Flashar: Origin and essence of the sophistry . In: Hellmut Flashar (ed.): Outline of the history of philosophy. The philosophy of antiquity . Volume 2/1, Schwabe, Basel 1998, pp. 3–10, here: p. 8f.
  24. Immanuel Kant: The history of pure reason . B880-884. - Ders .: Collected writings . Dept. IV: Lectures. Vol. 28, Berlin 1974, p. 537. - Ders .: Logic Lecture. Unpublished Posts II . Hamburg 1998, pp. 474, 557. - Ders .: Werke, Vol 2: Pre-critical writings 2: 1757–1777 . Berlin 1968, p. 234. - Manfred Kühn: Kant: a biography . Munich 2003, p. 545.
  25. Cf. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel: Works in twenty volumes . Volume 18, Frankfurt am Main 1979, pp. 406-428.
  26. Friedrich Ast: Outline of a History of Philosophy . Landshut 1807, p. 99.
  27. ^ George Grote: A history of Greece . Volume 8, New York 1859, pp. 317-399.
  28. George B. Kerferd, Hellmut Flashar: Origin and essence of the sophistry . In: Hellmut Flashar (ed.): Outline of the history of philosophy. The philosophy of antiquity . Volume 2/1, Schwabe, Basel 1998, pp. 3–10, here: p. 9.
  29. Friedrich Albert Lange: History of materialism and criticism of its significance in the present. Frankfurt am Main 1974, pp. 32-36.
  30. ^ Wilhelm Windelband: Textbook of the history of philosophy . Tübingen 1912, 6th edition, p. 85.
  31. Cf. Eduard Meyer: Geschichte des Altertums . Darmstadt 1965, 4th ed., Vol. 4, p. 1.
  32. ^ Friedrich Nietzsche: Works XVIII, 3.2. Philologica. Unpublished information on the history of literature, rhetoric and rhythm . Ed .: O. Crusius, Naumann, Leipzig 1912, p. 204.
  33. ^ Friedrich Nietzsche, Complete Works KSA 3. Morgenröthe Third Book, 168
  34. ^ Friedrich Nietzsche, Complete Works KSA 6 Munich 1999. Götzendämmerung, p. 156
  35. ^ Friedrich Nietzsche, Complete Works KSA 3, Munich 1999. Morgenröthe Third Book, 168
  36. Theodor Gomperz: Greek thinkers: a history of ancient philosophy . Berlin 1973, 342-392. Google book
  37. Werner Jaeger: Paideia. The formation of the Greek man . Volume 1, Berlin / New York 1933, pp. 364-418, here: p. 368.
  38. Werner Jaeger: Paideia. The formation of the Greek man . Volume 1, Berlin / New York 1933, pp. 364-418, here: p. 377.
  39. Johannes Hirschberger : Small history of philosophy . Freiburg i. B. 1966, 6th edition, p. 19.
  40. Peter Weber-Schäfer: The "overcoming" of the sophistry by Plato . In: Stephan Kirste, Kay Waechter, Manfred Walther: The Sophistics: Origin, Shape and Consequential Problems of the Contrast of Natural Law and Positive Law . Stuttgart 2002, pp. 158-170. Ibid. P. 159.
  41. George B. Kerferd, Hellmut Flashar: Origin and essence of the sophistry . In: Hellmut Flashar (ed.): Outline of the history of philosophy. The philosophy of antiquity . Volume 2/1, Schwabe, Basel 1998, pp. 3–10, here: p. 8.