Judging the Sophists

Judging the Sophists

1.Judging the Sophists

The Scene:  Corax (the teacher) and his private student, Tisias were reputedly the first Sophists. Like many young men with an appetite for the worldly success, Tisias sought training from Corax in the hope of being able to become wealthy by practicing the art of rhetoric/ persuasion in courts (like to become a  lawyer). Wishing to make sure he was not duped by his teacher, Tisias contracted to pay Corax only after he had actually won a law case. On this condition his training commenced and soon enough was over. Years went by, and Tisias brought no lawsuit against anyone. Corax had been willing to wait to be paid, but not forever, so he brought a suit against Tisias to recover his fee.

This is how each presents the matter to the Judge:

Sophist 1: The student

Tisias: Your Honors, I stand before you today in humility of spirit and purity of motive. I ask only that your listen patiently and judge rightly in issuing your verdict.

Your Honors, I charge Corax for failing to teach me well the art of Rhetoric. The proof of this charge is here before us today. For if I should lose my case, it will surely proof that I was not taught Rhetoric very well. And this being the case, I should NOT have to pay for the tuition.

For on one should have to pay for services that weren’t rendered according to what was expected.

On the other hand, if I win the case, it shows that I had enough sense and talent to figure out the art of Rhetoric out on my own, despite the negligence of my instructor. But even this is not necessary to my case, for a ruling against Corax is a ruling for me. And a ruling for me means I do not have to pay tuition. In either case, then, I should NOT have to pay tuition.

Sophist 2: The Teacher

Corax: Your Honors, I, too, stand humbly before you. I, too, recognize, in years far more experienced than that of my adversary, your outstanding record of prudent and just decision making on behalf of those whose cause is just. We are indeed fortunate to gain a hearing before you. This, then, is my case.

I have given Tisias the very best education in rhetoric of which I am capable, on the condition that he would at some point in his career pay my tuition. This he has not done. Now, if you rule against me – that is, if Tisias does in fact win his case – it serves to show that I taught him Rhetoric well, in which case he should be required to pay my tuition. If, however, Tisias does not win his case, that would show him to be a poor, or rather a bad student. (We already know he is poor.) Those who are wise, well know that a teacher is not to be faulted if, in discharging his services well and faithfully, the student is simply too stupid, or too lazy, (or too both) to take advantage of those services, expertly rendered.

But even this is unnecessary to my case. For a ruling against Tisias is a ruling in favor of me. Such a ruling would, of course, mean that Tisiasmust pay my tuition. In either case, then, my tuition should be paid.

 DECIDE, Explain, and Respond:
Who do you think will win the law case and why? Explain!

State who do you think should win the case and explain (in 2-4 sentences) providing reasons and references from the given information you just read. (5 points)

2. You End the Story!
1. Read the modified real story  and suggest your version of its ending.  Consider the two  highlighted questions and briefly respond to them  in your post. ( 5 points each )

2. Respond briefly to ONE of your classmate’s post. (2 points)

Adapted / modified  by K. Yegoryan

An American professional auto racing driver N. L., who was a seven-time NASCAR CUP Series Champion, miraculously survived when his car suddenly burst into flames in the midst of the racing track. When the car of the fearless and precise racer lost its control and spun into the barriers, it was clear that something was wrong. Remarkably, not only did the champion racer “walked away”/ survived from this horrific crash, he returned to race again the following week.

When the investigators announced that his racing car was serviced with a wrong fuel, N. L. asked to see the mechanic who had serviced his car before the race. When the racing legend approached the young mechanic, tears streamed down the mechanic’s face. He was begging for mercy and was repeating that it was just a careless mistake; he didn’t mean to cause the loss of a very expensive car nor he ever wanted to cause N. L.’s or any other racer’s death.

One could anticipate the anger of the miraculously survived racing star.  Every member of the racing crew was waiting to see what N. L. would say or do with the “careless” mechanic…  

Finish the story !

What do you think N. L. did / said to the mechanic?   (What would YOU do/ say if you were in N. L’. s position.?)   (3-5 sentences)

Why?  Explain/ justify   (in 3-5 sentences)

3. Murder or Accident

Consider the document below (click/ download):

Murder_or_Accident__”Slip_or_Trip”_.pdf Download Murder_or_Accident__”Slip_or_Trip”_.pdf

Read the short passage and consider the image. Then decide if it was a murder or an accident.

Think of 2 reasons why you think so, and make sure to have supporting facts (textual and visual evidence) – facts from the given text and/or the visual image for each of your reasons.  

Once you have made your decision, submit the following ( type as a response to this discussion in the discussion section):

This was a ______________ (MURDER or ACCIDENT whichever you have decided/ state only one )
The 2 Reasons of why I claim so are:  _______________________________ and  ___________________________________
These reasons are based on the following provided textual and visual evidence (refer to the text or the image):

Answer preview for Judging the Sophists


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