DOI: 10.30443/POI2020-0004

Antilogy as the Sophists’ Expressive Form

Stefania Giombini

The article focuses on the expressive forms used by the sophists. While not adhering to the idea that the so-called sophists were a ‘movement’, characterized by univocal lines of research and intellectual production, the article tries to develop the hypothesis that a common trait could be constituted by the use of antilogy, that is, of the technique of producing contrary discourses. In the strictly philosophical context, the development of contrary arguments finds its antecedent in the figure of Zeno, but is also generally characteristic of the oratorical agon, of the antithetical positions in tragedy and comedy; in a certain way it is possible to affirm that the contradictory is the typical Greek reasoning carried out on different expressive registers. The sophists, for their part, develop the antilogy extensively, producing some of the most complete works of the genre, driven above all by the context in which they operate; especially in Athens where the democratic regime of Pericles generated the conditions for the development of disputes, of analysis of the parties, and above all for the new vitality of the courts and of the judicial disputes that took place in them. The article also intends to record the significant increase in specialized production on the subject, reporting the most recent contributions.

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