Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Money Wisdom #124

"The sophist, according to Aristotle, is 'one who makes money out of an apparent but unreal wisdom' [Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics 1164a30]. The words 'make money' and 'unreal' define the special art of the sophist in Greece. Like the tyrant, the sophist is purely a wage earner. 'Sophists are those who sell their wisdom for money to anyone who wants it' [Xenophon Memorabilia 1.6.13]. With irony Plato praised Protagoras, the first to accept money for teaching, because Protagoras taught virtue (areté) for money, thus making money an architectonic measure. Sophists made it appear that wisdom could be bought and sold or measured by money. While the Good is the architectonic principle of the true philosopher, money is that of the wage-earning sophist who would rule the world as a Gygean tyrant."

Marc Shell The Economy of Literature (1978) p.37

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