Critically Analyse the Sophists’ Contention That “Polititcal Authority Is Based Upon Might”. the Contention by Sophists That “Political Authority Is Based Upon Might” Is Rooted in Realism. Realism Is an Approach to


The contention by sophists that “Political authority is based upon might” is rooted in realism.   Realism is an approach to world politics derived from the tradition of power politics and belief that behaviour is determined by the search for and distribution for power.   It is this power which determines who get what, when and how?   This presentation seeks to unravel the aforementioned sophists’ contention by briefly highlighting who these sophists were; unpack what political authority is and its relationship with might.   In the process, the writer will buttress the sophists’ contention with contemporary examples in international politics.

The World Book Encyclopedia (1994) opines that, “sophists were educators who travelled from city to city teaching for pay in the city states of Greece during the second half of the 400s BC.”   Sophist did not cling to a specific set of beliefs for example; some seemed to uphold the notion that law should be rejected in favor of natural right of the strong while others recognized that human law though unnatural, was essential for a secure society.   They claimed to teach grammar, political theory and persuasive public speaking which were crucial in such ancient democracies as Athens.   Plato presents the sophists as largely uninterested in the truth and only concerned with making money.   His influence has led to the modern meaning of a sophist as someone who uses clever but misleading reasoning. This assumption has been constantly used in the contemporary politics by the so called “big brother influence” (United States of America, Britain, France ) thereby spreading capitalism in most parts of the world.

On the other hand McGowan, Cornelissen and Nel (2006) view political authority as, “the equivalence of power or might.”   This paper argues that the two authors added that political scientists principally use power in terms of an...