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Additional info for Lyotard and Greek Thought: Sophistry
This is most directly expressed in the opposing arguments – the antilogoi – put forward in mock sophistical dispute in the drama, in which the unjust or wrong argument (adikos logos) triumphs over its contrary, the just or right argument (dikaios logos). More dramatically, however, it is exemplified in the final moments of the play by Pheidippides, who had finally acceded to his father’s request that he attend the Phrontisterion. d. The father and son relationship. These final events draw together all the ethical and political failings that Aristophanes has identified.
The Platonic Apology sets out this relation to truth in a threefold way: in terms of a method that in its possibility is directed towards truth in contrast to sophistic argumentation; in terms of disclosing the relation of the human being to truth; and in terms of clarifying the nature of the human being as such in its concern with itself. According to Plato the aim of the sophist is to speak well (eu legein), but she does not speak well in the sense of a speaking intrinsically directed towards the truth of something, that is, in the sense of wanting to possess a genuine understanding of the matter about which she speaks, rather she merely gives the impression of doing so.
Nevertheless, if prior to Plato speaking of philosophia, the Greeks – and not just the Greeks – had certainly thought, they had not, for all that, philosophised. 14 If it is not the case that thinking as such finds its origin here, and if, on this basis, one can be drawn to emphasise the continuities between philosophy and the Presocratic background, it is necessary to recognise that the particular mode of thinking and speaking that is philosophy emerges with Socrates and Plato. In short, and as we have seen, what one finds in the Platonic texts is a decision that institutes philosophy, and does so by distinguishing the philosopher from both the sophos and the sophistes.