To Be and Not to Be: Philo on the Difference between Philosophers and Sophists

This paper investigates the different ways that Philo depicts sophists and sophistry in his writings with particular attention to how he contrasts this group with philosophers and wisdom. I will begin by tracing the history of this comparison in Greek authors (e.g., Plato, Aristotle, Epictetus), the findings of which will be weighed against those of Philo to determine the similarities and differences between his characterisations and those of the wider literary tradition. Particular attention will be paid to Cher. 8-10 and Philo’s association of sophists with rhetorical training in the wider education system and the unique important Philo places on the role of Wisdom.