Can you imagine how much pressure a person must feel to know that the all-knowing oracle, a prophetic deity of wise counsel, proclaims you the wisest of all men? That is a big responsibility for one person to have. I would want to put her prophecy to the test, just to make sure she is right. That is exactly what happened to Socrates. His friend Chaerephon asked the oracle who was the wisest man and she replied Socrates. She thought Socrates was the wisest man because he humbly acknowledges that he does not know everything, that as a human he knows nothing. Socratic ignorance. This shook Socrates because he knew the oracle could not be wrong. He set out to prove her prophecy by questioning the wisest of Athenian men, mainly politicians, poets, and the craftsmen, on universal issues such as beauty and justice. At the end of their conversations, the men would wind up looking inept, lacking wisdom. This of course angered many people. In the end, Socrates was put to trial on charges of being a Sophist. He set out to prove he is not a Sophist by showing that everything he does is a complete contrast to the Sophist philosophy.
Socrates is not a Sophist. The first major contrast between both methods of philosophy is that Socrates does not charge for his services. A philosopher should pursuit wisdom whole-heartedly, relinquishing all worldly possessions, and honestly. The Sophists charge for their "services Â. Socrates speaks to the people just for the pleasure of speaking, Socratic dialect, in order to get truth. The Sophists were only concerned with winning the argument. Socrates sought knowledge just to be enlightened, for the pleasure of it. He had a love for the argument, love for truth, and love for logic. He would question people and ideas over and over until a clear perception of a concept was attained. He approached things analytically and sought clear defined perception. The Sophists would use fancy r... Continue Reading