Sophism

A sophism is taken as a specious argument used for deceiving someone. It might be crafted to seem logical while actually being wrong, or it might use difficult words and complicated sentences to intimidate the audience into agreeing, or it might appeal to the audience’s prejudices and emotions rather than logic; e.g., raising doubts towards the one asserting, rather than his assertion. The goal of a sophism is often to make the audience believe the writer or speaker to be smarter than he or she actually is; e.g., accusing another of sophistry for using persuasion techniques.

A sophist is a user of sophisms, i.e., an insincere person trying to confuse or deceive people. Sophists will try to persuade the audience while paying little attention to whether their argument is logical and factual.

Sophistry means making heavy use of sophisms. The word can be applied to a particular text or speech riddled with sophisms.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. ininjja
    Feb 24, 2011 @ 06:11:06

    you sound like a wonderful dictionary…
    HEY at least i learned something XD

    Reply

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