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University of Ottawa
David Raynor

PHI1104 January 15, 2014 “I don’t think you understandwhat must happenwhenever anyonecomesinto closecontact with Socratesandgetsinto aconversation with him. Evenif conversation startsoff onsomeother topic, it never endsuntil Socratesargueshim around to having to account not only for theway he liveshis life now but for thelife hehasled before. Oncethisstarts, Socrateswill not let him off thehook until hehasput everything about him well andtruly to thetest.” -Plato, Laches187c-188b * Pouncing onhim, won’t leavehim alone What isthePurposeofEuthyphro?  “Thewealth of ideascompressedinto thesefew pagesillustrates…theimpossibility of deducing thewhole significanceof aPlatonic Dialoguefrom asinglesupposedpurpose. Thepurposesof theEuthyphro areits entire content 1. The favourable contrast of Socrateswith Euthyphro 2. Thesatire onpopular religion 3. Thelessonin elementary logic 4. Thehint, perhaps,of thetheory of ideas(Plato developsasophisticated philosophical theory of theUniverse…”Plato’stheory of ideas” …might seea hint of thetheory of ideasin Euthyphro…show meaparadigm sothat I cantell what is piety andimpiety…Socrateswantsadefinition, Plato wantsanidea…the form of piety. Plato’s philosophy is forms& Ideasandthat is onebig difference betweenPlato andSocrates) 5. Thedeeper problem of therelationsof religion andmorality, 6. Thedifficulty, perhapstheimpossibility, for finite mindsof defining without contradictionsour relationsandservicesto [thegods].” (Difficulty of defining what piety is. If Euthyphro would havestayedalittle bit longer, would hehave comeupwith anadequatedefinition? ) -Paul Shorey “What Plato Said” Euthyphro PHI1104 January 15, 2014 • Euthyphro feelslike hebeing shown upandbeing madeafool by thequestionsSocrates is asking. • Socrateswantsto puncturethebelief schemesof people • Hewantsto get peoplewho think that they know something to realizethat they don’t truly know –sothat they cansearch for absolutetruths • Euthyphro is going against theheard, just like Socrates • Socratesis asking for adefinition of what piousis • Euthyphro givesanexample • Euthyphrosvery first effort to defineimpious/piousfails miserably becausehedoesn’t give adefinition • Euthyphro saysthat pious= something thegodslove, andthat impious= something the godshate • Socratesexplainsthat theGo
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