Rhetoricians, and most notably the Sophists, were believers in nomos. Philosophers, for example Plato, were believers in Physis. Nomos is loosely translated as LAW; while PHYSIS is loosely translated as nature. Those who believed in NOMOS argued that reality, and therefore human understanding of that reality, was a product of human action. In other words, what we thought of as real and true were basically the products of our own thoughts and actions--our communication. Believers in NOMOS argued that there must be human involvement in the world in order for reality to exist, that there were no such things as eternal human laws or eternal human truths--these were both the product of human action. For example, believers in Nomos didn't believe that there were ideal or absolute certainties. There is no such thing as one truth, one justice, and one standard of beauty. Instead, all of these concepts were open to debate and discussion. Justice, for example, may mean one thing to one group of people, while it may mean something entirely different to another group of people.
Believers in PHYSIS argued that there was an external reality, that there were universal truths and universal laws that human involvement was not necessary for reality to exist. Believers in PHYSIS said that there was one truth, one definition of what it means to be just or beautiful, and that these one truth and standards existed in the world and were just waiting to be discovered by humans. In other words, one day, if we looked hard enough, we would find THE TRUTH!.
2. Socrates employed the same logical tricks developed by the Sophists to a new purpose, the pursuit of truth. "Socrates clearly moves in the same circles as the Sophists; he converses with them eagerly andoften, and his interests are similar. His subject matter is human affairs, in particular arte (Melchert, 63)." Another similarity is that, "Socrates is interested in the arts of communication and argument, in techniques of persuasion (Melchert, 63)".