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Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 69, 2018

Political Philosophy

Paul Schollmeier
Pages 345-349

Political Sophistry Ancient and Contemporary

Sophistry is alive and thrives. I argue that this less than venerable tradition modern and contemporary political philosophers continue to this day. I take Protagoras as the archetype sophist, and I show that John Stuart Mill, as does Protagoras, advocates happiness not in an ancient, rational, sense but in a sophistical, passional, sense. Despite their protestations, John Rawls and Robert Nozick continue to advocate a utilitarian happiness of a similar passional sort. The upshot of their sophistry is all too obvious in our present financial crises.

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