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.
- 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.