From Ancient Greek σοφισμός (sophismós, “wisdom, learnedness”), derived from σοφία (sophía, “wisdom, learning”) + -ism. The English definition of Sophism was corrupted after Plato condemned Greek sophists who charged for their personal rhetorics, often giving fallacious and deceptive reasoning for young noblemen seeking political office.
sophism (plural sophisms)
- A method of teaching using the techniques of philosophy and rhetoric.
- (informal) A flawed argument, superficially correct in its reasoning, usually designed to deceive.
- (informal) An intentional fallacy.