Meaning of Sofism

What is Sofisma:

The false argument or reasoning, formulated with the purpose of misleading the adversary, is known as sophistry.

Regarding its etymology, sophism comes from the word sophist, of Greek origin sophia which means "wisdom" and sophos which expresses "wise".

Sophism can designate all erroneous reasoning but in logic, a sophistry refers specifically to reasoning that appears to be correct but is not. A fairly common example of sophistry is the argument: "All women drive badly."

The sophistry can be seen as a flawed syllogism, that is, an exposition of true or false premises whose conclusion is not adequate and that it has the purpose of defending something and confusing the interlocutor. For example: All men are mortal / the cat is mortal / men are cats.

See also Syllogism.

The synonyms for sophistry are: cunning, deception, appearance, fallacy, falsehood, among others.

In English, the term sophistry is sophism.

Types of sophisms

The sophisms appear to be correct but are logically equivocal. Sophisms are in the realm of rhetoric and we can commonly find them in day-to-day examples as described below.

See also Rhetoric.

Accident sophism: seeks to confuse the accidental with the essential. Example: Yesterday I studied a lot so I will get a good grade.

Sophism ignorance of the cause: the real cause is not defined as the cause and another is used as the cause. Example: That accident was God's punishment.

Sophism ignorance of the question: a proposition is ignored emphasizing something that has no relation to the subject. Example: You don't care about me / But I always bring you gifts.

Sophism begging the question: an argument is taken as a principle and without proving it, conclusions are drawn. Example: I am a hard worker and that is why I have no money problems.

Vicious circle sophistry: one proposition is proven with another, the second being proven with the initial. Example: If you don't have money, sell our promotional products for 100 pesos.

Sophism of induction or false generalization: what is typical of some individuals is attributed to a group. Example: All Americans are ignorant.

Sophism of analogy: some similarities between several are concluded for convenience. Example: All men are macho.

Fallacy and sophistry

The sophistry is an intentional fallacy in which the individual states an erroneous or invalid inference to deceive the other.

In the field of logic, a fallacy consists of the act of reaching a certain wrong conclusion from false propositions. By virtue of the above, Aristotle's philosophy approaches the fallacy as a sophism, a wrong reasoning to deceive others.

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