But then, as usual, every time a condition of felicity is clearly articulated it is perverted into its opposite by Socrates, who, as Nietzsche remarked, has King Midas’s hands except that he turns gold into mud. The nonprofessional nature of the knowledge of the people by the people turning the whole into an ordered cosmos and not “a disorderly shambles” becomes, through a subtle shift, the right of a few rhetoricians to win over real experts even if they know nothing. What the Sophists meant was that no expert can win in the public agora because of the specific conditions of felicity that reign there. After Socrates’ translation, this sensible argument becomes the following absurd one: any expert will be defeated by an ignorant person who knows only rhetoric. And of course, as usual, the Sophists kindly oblige Socrates by saying the ridiculous thing they have long been accused of saying – this is the great advantage of the dialogue form that epideixis lacks: (Latour 1999:240)
LATOUR, Bruno. 1999. Pandora’s Hope: essays on the reality of science studies. London: Harvard University Press.