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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » A simple question (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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LobowolfXXX
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On Jun 2, 2015, mastermindreader wrote:
But the effects on people are vastly different. A bad magician can leave you wanting your money back. A bad lawyer could end up leaving you in prison.

There is also quite a difference between law as practiced by ambulance chasers and legal scholarship.

For example, would you consider Learned Hand to be a sophist?




Let me preface with a decent working definition of sophistry:


"Subtly deceptive reasoning or argumentation



My Advanced Criminal Law professor was a former defense attorney. I asked him once what percent of his clients were innocent. He responded with a very small number. Let's say, charitably, that most criminal defendants are guilty. The defense attorney's ultimate goal at trial is an acquittal, even if the client is guilty. To do that, he or she generally attempts to convince the jury that the client is factually innocent. Or at least that he might be, i.e. reasonable doubt exists. That is, he or she is trying to lead them to an incorrect conclusion. That's the deceptive part. And it has to be subtle, because if it isn't, they're not going to reach that conclusion. Or in my longest practice area, eminent domain, attorneys attempt to argue two different market values for the same piece of property - often widely disparate. They're not both right (in fact, they're usually both wrong). And if they represented opposite clients, they'd argue for different valuations. Subtly and misleadingly. Or take an automotive accident case. Attorney A says Client C is at fault; Attorney B says Client D is. Through subtle argumentation, at least one of them tries to bring the jury to an incorrect conclusion.

So yeah...without putting a value judgment on it, I think a good deal of it is sophistry. It pretty much has to be; you have trained, practiced arguers attempting to convince people of mutually exclusive conclusions.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
mastermindreader
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Your definition itself is subtly misleading. Sophistry is defined by Merriam Webster as "the use of reasoning or arguments that sound correct but are actually false." "Specious" is given as a synonym.

I don't equate the legal reasoning I was trying to illustrate in this thread with either.

It's true that sophistry is often found in legal arguments. But legal reasoning and scholarship is a different story entirely. Again, would you consider Learned Hand to be a sophist?
LobowolfXXX
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My subtly misleading definition was "full definition [#]1" at Merriam-Webster.com

I don't know what Learned Hand was like as a lawyer. Being a judge is a different thing, as judges are not advocates.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
mastermindreader
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On Jun 2, 2015, LobowolfXXX wrote:
My subtly misleading definition was "full definition [#]1" at Merriam-Webster.com

I don't know what Learned Hand was like as a lawyer. Being a judge is a different thing, as judges are not advocates.


EXACTLY- I pointed out earlier that lawyering encompasses much more than advocacy. Judges are lawyers, too. Legal advocacy and legal analysis are quite different. The point of this thread, which is now entirely off track, was to illustrate legal analysis and thinking.
stoneunhinged
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I LOVED the Paper Chase.

As for definitions of sophisty go, I stand by my claim.

As for my understanding of lawyering goes, I stand by what I have written.

Bob, I didn't say what I didn't say. Don't presume anything about what I didn't say. Read what I wrote, rather than what I didn't write.
tommy
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Chicanery.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
stoneunhinged
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On Jun 2, 2015, mastermindreader wrote:
...was to illustrate legal analysis and thinking.



It's not off track at all. I'm saying that legal analysis and thinking are sophistry. How is that off topic?

And to everyone: please pardon the grammar of my last post. I edited poorly, and I apologize.

Bob, have a beer!

:stout: Smile Smile Smile

(Why is the first beer orthographically presented? I'm confused.)
mastermindreader
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Okay, then. Since my OP was sophistry I apologize for posting it and will try to do better in the future. Smile

And I drink rum, not beer!
stoneunhinged
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On Jun 3, 2015, mastermindreader wrote:
And I drink rum, not beer!


Sophist!
Magnus Eisengrim
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On Jun 3, 2015, mastermindreader wrote:
Okay, then. Since my OP was sophistry I apologize for posting it and will try to do better in the future. Smile

And I drink rum, not beer!


No worries. Socrates was often called a Sophist.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
stoneunhinged
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On Jun 3, 2015, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
Quote:
On Jun 3, 2015, mastermindreader wrote:
Okay, then. Since my OP was sophistry I apologize for posting it and will try to do better in the future. Smile

And I drink rum, not beer!


No worries. Socrates was often called a Sophist.


One might even suggest that the entirety of Plato's work was an attempt to distinguish philosophy from sophistry.

But everyone seems to assume that I have used the word "sophistry" pejoratively. Which I might have done. But then again, maybe I didn't. Maybe I'm proud to call myself a sophist. Maybe, deep down, I really wish I were a lawyer.
mastermindreader
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I know, but in that sense the reference was to a method of teaching. Indeed, law schools still teach via the Socratic method. The objection I have is equating sophistry to analysis when it really only applies to certain, but hardly all, legal arguments.
stoneunhinged
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Bob, the so-called "socratic method" is part of a legal education, but has little or nothing to do with Socrates or philosophy.

I know a wee bit about your world, but you seem to know nothing about mine. I think you feel insulted, but I had no intention of insulting you.

I admire lawyers and lawyering. I admire my sister--who wasn't just an ordinary lawyer, but an exceptionally accomplished one (before cancer forced her to retire). You dudes ROCK.

Nevertheless, you belong to a profession, and you think professionally. "Professional" doesn't mean "Truth-seeking".

There is no such thing as a professional truth seeker. Ain't no money in it.
LobowolfXXX
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On Jun 3, 2015, stoneunhinged wrote:
Bob, the so-called "socratic method" is part of a legal education, but has little or nothing to do with Socrates or philosophy.

I know a wee bit about your world, but you seem to know nothing about mine. I think you feel insulted, but I had no intention of insulting you.

I admire lawyers and lawyering. I admire my sister--who wasn't just an ordinary lawyer, but an exceptionally accomplished one (before cancer forced her to retire). You dudes ROCK.

Nevertheless, you belong to a profession, and you think professionally. "Professional" doesn't mean "Truth-seeking".

There is no such thing as a professional truth seeker. Ain't no money in it.



And in fact, in an adversarial proceeding, at most one side wants the jury to find the truth. Sometimes (eminent domain valuation proceedings) neither side does.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
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