The sophists’ detractors and Plato’s representation of Socrates

Alex Long*

*Corresponding author for this work

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In several dialogues Socrates criticizes negative comments made against a sophist or the sophists. I show that Socrates’ target really is the sophists’ detractor, not the sophists themselves. From these passages I draw two broader conclusions. First, Plato’s defence of Socrates’ memory sometimes relies on creating a parallel between sophists and Socrates, rather than distinguishing between them and him. Secondly, Socratic philosophical practice has a widely neglected feature: examining and correcting the criticism made by his interlocutors against others.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-783
Number of pages15
Issue number4
Early online date27 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2023


  • Apologist
  • Defence
  • Plato
  • Socrates
  • Sophists


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