Like mythology, Greek philosophy has a tendency to personify ideas. And the Sophist is not merely a teacher of rhetoric for a fee of one or fifty drachmae (Crat.), but an ideal of ‘s in which the falsehood of all mankind is reflected.
To suffer is better than to do evil; and the art of rhetoric is described as only useful for the purpose of self-accusation.
It was at this point that the transition was first made to the conception that rhetoric was a teachable skill, that it could, usually in return for a fee, be passed from one skilled performer on to others, who might thereby achieve successes in their practical life that would otherwise have eluded them.
Rhetoric was to be surveyed from the standpoint of philosophy.
How can a man who, for a significant phase of his formation, shared his master’s opposition to rhetoric have in maturity composed a masterpiece of the formal study of rhetoric?