Plato's literary activity extended over fifty years, and time and again he asked himself anew: What is it that makes the sophists so dangerous? Toward the end he wrote one more dialogue, the Sophist, in which he added a new element to his answer: "The sophists", he says, "fabricate a fictitious reality." That the existential realm of man could be taken over by pseudorealities whose fictious nature threatens to become indiscernible is truly a depressing thought. And yet this Platonic nightmare, I hold, possesses an alarming contemporary relevance. For the general public is being reduced to a state where people not only are unable to find out about the truth but also become unable even to search for the truth because they are satisfied with deception and trickery that have determined their convictions, satisfied with a fictious reality created by design through the abuse of language. This says Plato, is the worst thing that the sophists are capable of wreaking upon mankind by their corruption of the word.
Josef Pieper - 1974
quarta-feira, abril 14, 2004
Abuse of language, abuse of power
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