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  • WordNet 3.6
    • n sophistry a deliberately invalid argument displaying ingenuity in reasoning in the hope of deceiving someone
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Sophistry The art or process of reasoning; logic.
    • Sophistry The practice of a sophist; fallacious reasoning; reasoning sound in appearance only. "The juggle of sophistry consists, for the most part, in usig a word in one sense in the premise, and in another sense in the conclusion."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n sophistry The methods of teaching, doctrines, or practices of the Greek sophists.
    • n sophistry Fallacious reasoning; reasoning sound in appearance only; especially, reasoning deceptive from intention or passion.
    • n sophistry Argument for exercise merely.
    • n sophistry Trickery; craft.
    • n sophistry Synonyms See def. 2 of fallacy.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Sophistry specious but fallacious reasoning
    • ***


  • John Adams
    “Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. sophistrie, OF. sophisterie,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. sophisme—Gr. sophismasophizein, to make wise—sophos, wise.


In literature:

Have a little energy, despise these sophistries and resist him.
"En Route" by J.-K. (Joris-Karl) Huysmans
The mediaeval sophistry about the birth of Christ is the utmost product of human folly in its way.
"Folkways" by William Graham Sumner
No flattery could lull his vigilance, no sophistry deceive his penetration.
"Tea Leaves" by Various
The sophistries and time-serving of ecclesiastics were fairly pictured.
"The Negro and the Nation" by George S. Merriam
Here is a seam that no sophistry can sew up.
"Conflict of Northern and Southern Theories of Man and Society" by Henry Ward Beecher
But this miserable sophistry deserves not that we should spend so much time in the refutation of it.
"A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians, in the Middle and Higher Classes in this Country, Contrasted with Real Christianity." by William Wilberforce
As he crossed to the mainland he wrapped himself in warm and comfortable sophistries.
"Tongues of Conscience" by Robert Smythe Hichens
Secretary Toombs was one man in the Montgomery Cabinet who was not deceived by Seward's sophistries.
"Robert Toombs" by Pleasant A. Stovall
Could any modern indicate by sophistry of brush or brain so intoxicating a fairyland, so gracious a field of dear delights?
"The Tapestry Book" by Helen Churchill Candee
Bob could not by any sophistry escape the duty thrust on him.
"The Fighting Edge" by William MacLeod Raine
He had no time to accommodate himself to the situation, no time for sophistry.
"The Pools of Silence" by H. de Vere Stacpoole
It was not until the scientific sophistries began that brotherhood was really disputed.
"What I Saw in America" by G. K. Chesterton
Sophistry rather tampers and trifles with the moral convictions than directly attacks them.
"Christianity and Greek Philosophy" by Benjamin Franklin Cocker
There are those who are and desire to be considered powerful theologians, though they extenuate original sin by sophistry.
"Commentary on Genesis, Vol. II" by Martin Luther
Lucretia Mott followed him, and ably pointed out his sophistry and errors.
"History of Woman Suffrage, Volume I"
The people had been maddened by sophistry, by calumny, by rhetoric, by stimulants applied to the national pride.
"Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3)" by Thomas Babington Macaulay
In this species of political sophistry Hamilton was a master.
"The Spirit of American Government" by J. Allen Smith
When a man's heart warms to his viands, he forgets a great deal of sophistry, and soars into a rosy zone of contemplation.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition" by Robert Louis Stevenson
What philosophy or sophistry can reconcile a man to such buffets from the hand of Fate?
"Wunpost" by Dane Coolidge
Dialectics appeared in the form of Sophistry.
"Pedagogics as a System" by Karl Rosenkranz

In poetry:

"Why do I eat good children - why?
Because I love them so!"
(But this was empty sophistry,
As your Papa can show.)
"The Two Ogres" by William Schwenck Gilbert
Or fly up, and revolve it all slowly -
I kill where I please because it is all mine.
There is no sophistry in my body:
My manners are tearing off heads -
"Hawk Roosting" by Ted Hughes
His academic mind e'er seeks
Direct appeals to reason;
He thinks a deal before he speaks,
And ever speaks in season.
Quibbling, to him, with folly reeks,
And sophistry is treason.
"'Jack'" by C J Dennis
And when my ready cash is gone
He runs me into debt.
Stern duty he will harp upon
When I would fain forget.
But when, through toil, I would be free
He soothes me with rank sophistry.
"The Corpse That Won't Lie Still" by C J Dennis

In news:

Ted Cruz's Helpful Sophistry on the Latino Vote.
Soledad's Sophistry And the casuistry of cable-TV fact-checking.
Sophistry & the Settlers.
Yet, Avishai Margalit, in the article "The Israeli Settlers", calls this distinction " sophistry .
Fleeing an unsafe Tibet for the relative security of a Connecticut college, Tibetan monk Buton Rinpoche (Peter Quinones) engages three professors in varying levels of annoying sophistry for two very long hours.
The Democratic National Convention is an elaborate effort to sanitize a failed record that cannot be rehabilitated, even by the glib sophistry of former President Bill Clinton.

In science:

While this may perhaps seem like sophistry it does also have serious implications for model checking: any ABC approach that is based on summary statistics will infer model parameters (or marginal model posteriors) that reflect the behaviour encoded by these statistics.
Considerate Approaches to Achieving Sufficiency for ABC model selection