SOPHISTRY, N. The Controversial Method Of An Opponent, Distinguished From One's Own By Superior Insincerity And Fooling.

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SOPHISTRY, n. The controversial method of an opponent, distinguished
from one's own by superior insincerity and fooling. This method is
that of the later Sophists, a Grecian sect of philosophers who began
by teaching wisdom, prudence, science, art and, in brief, whatever men
ought to know, but lost themselves in a maze of quibbles and a fog of

His bad opponent's "facts" he sweeps away,
And drags his sophistry to light of day;
Then swears they're pushed to madness who resort
To falsehood of so desperate a sort.
Not so; like sods upon a dead man's breast,
He lies most lightly who the least is pressed.
Polydore Smith
-- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"