The Pluralists, represented by philosophers like Anaxagoras and Empedocles, believed that the fundamental reality of the universe was composed of multiple elements or principles. They proposed that these elements could combine and separate to create the diversity and complexity observed in the world. Anaxagoras introduced the concept of "Nous" as the organizing principle responsible for setting the elements in motion and arranging them to form the world, representing an early notion of a rational and intelligent force behind natural processes. 

The Sophists emphasized the subjective nature of truth and knowledge. They argued that truth was relative to individual perceptions and opinions, challenging the idea of objective truth. The Sophists were known for teaching persuasive speaking and rhetoric, emphasizing the art of persuasion and debate. Their focus on practical knowledge and rhetorical skills challenged traditional beliefs and moral values, leading to criticism from other philosophers like Socrates and Plato, who believed in the existence of objective truth and virtue.