- a sect of thinkers that arose in Greece, and whose radical principle it was that we have only a subjective knowledge of things, and that we have no knowledge at all of objective reality, that things are as they seem to us, and that we have no knowledge of what they are in themselves; "on this field," says SCHWEGLER, "they disported, enjoying with boyish exuberance the exercise of the power of subjectivity, and destroying, by means of a subjective dialectic, all that had been ever objectively established," such as "the laws of the State, inherited custom, religious tradition, and popular belief.... They form, in short, the German AUFKLÄRUNG (q.v.), the Greek ILLUMINATION (q.v.). They acknowledged only private judgment and ignored the existence of a judgment that is not private, and has absolute rights irrespective of the sentiments of the individual."
The Nuttall Encyclopaedia. James Wood. 1907.
Look at other dictionaries:
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SOPHISTS — wandering teachers of RHETORIC and PHILOSOPHY in the Greaco Roman world. They rejected all RELIGION and gave rationalistic explanations to natural phenomena upholding ETHICAL and SOCIAL RELATIVISM … Concise dictionary of Religion
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sophists — plural of sophist … Useful english dictionary
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sophist — /sof ist/, n. 1. (often cap.) Gk. Hist. a. any of a class of professional teachers in ancient Greece who gave instruction in various fields, as in general culture, rhetoric, politics, or disputation. b. a person belonging to this class at a later … Universalium