Thursday, August 11, 2011

sophistry



sophistry [ˈsɒfəstri] n.

1.) Specious but fallacious reasoning; employment of arguments which are intentionally deceptive. An instance of this; a sophism.
2.) The use or practice of specious reasoning as an art or dialectic exercise.
3.) Cunning, trickery, craft. Obs.
4.) The type of learning characteristic of the ancient Sophists; the profession of a Sophist.

Etymology: From sophist, adaptation of Latin sophista, sophistēs, adopted from Greek σοϕιστής, from σοϕίζεσθαι to become wise or learned. Hence also Spanish and Italian sofista, French sophiste.

"It is only thanks to cinema that workers in the most far-flung corners and the countryside can be familiarized with the productions of the world's best artists of stage and screen, with the best plays of the world repertoire, and this way can be introduced to cultured life, given a healthy, rational means of entertainment, and thus turned away from drunkeness and home-brew. And it goes without saying that film-plays should above all be realistic, precise, vivid, clear, and comprehensible by the masses. There is absolutely no need here for any intellectual sophistry, which would be utterly inappropriate" ("Novoe techenie v kinematographie", Dziga Vertov, 1923, translation from Lines of Resistance: Dziga Vertov and the Twenties, Yuri Tsivian, 2004).

(Autorretrato con traje de terciopelo, Frida Kahlo, 1926)

17 comments:

Diego Sousa said...

"What do i know of cultured ways, the guilt the craft and the lie?
I who was born on naked land, and bred on open sky?
The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when broadsword sings!
Rush in and die, dogs! I was a man befor i was king!"

The road of Kings - Robert E. Howard

ivy said...

This word just comes back to haunt us with so many new trends in pop culture.

nowaysj said...

I'm glad I'm too sophisticated to bother with the baseless reasoning of an animal loving mexican female painter.

Wait, whut?

shari said...

I'd wondered what that word meant... just been too lazy to look it up. I was a pretty good sophist when I was in college... people would even believe me and my arguments, until I was found out to be a Class A Bullshitter.

GMSoccerPicks said...

Not my favorite self portrait of her, there are many more colorful and happier than that one. Although i have to say, the moustache she had, it isn't shown in this one, so that has to be a plus.

D4 said...

Sounds better than what it means.

JayJay said...

I don't have a quote at hand like @Diego Sousa but I do know this one from my one course of Classical Studies at high school. Unfortunately, it didn't stick that well since it was a correspondence course and I had five other subjects that I was studying as well.

Melanie said...

Love this word...AND LOVE FRIDA KAHLO!! Thanks for sharing!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Immediately made me think of the Cat Detector Van sketch from Monty Python.

Shaw said...

I never got why so many people praised Frida. A lot of her more abstract work freaks me out.

Shutterbug said...

another word i haven't heard of...

Henry said...

That's everywhere these days.

Meri said...

This is a good, sleazy one!

Damyanti said...

I've heard this word used in the most irrelevant of contexts. I hope more people read your blog and use words as they're meant to be.

Kid Shuffle said...

Another word to throw out in an argument, just to out hip them. Cheers!

Ana said...

I adore frida khalo.

nowaysj said...

Yeah, no offense, really.

Post a Comment