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Lecture 8

PHL202 -Lecture 8 – Euthyphro.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Jon Rick

Lecture 8 – Euthyphro Socratic Irony  Often the questioning begins with Socrates claiming that he is ignorant of the subject at hand (and of important matters such as the nature of virtue, generally). Yet, as the dialogue develops, Socrates seems to have the upper hand at every step… perhaps suggesting that he is not altogether ignorant… o 5b-c for an example o He makes the so called experts look foolish Socratic Dialectic (Elenchus)  What is F questions (justice, beauty, piety..)  Attempting to determine the true nature of different virtues  Negative Method of hypothesis elimination – locate contradictions and revise hypotheses  Test the validity of one’s beliefs  Ultimately attempts to uncover knowledge of a sound truth about the nature of virtue  Or, if not, to display one’s ignorance about the nature of virtue – one’s puzzlement rather than knowledge - Aporia What is Piety of the Pious?  Seeking a proper Socratic Definition: o “Or isn’t the pious itself the same as itself in every action” (5c-d)  Euthyphro believes his father murdered a murderer. o Controversial case because the man who was murdered by his father isn’t anywhere near as close to him as his father is o He however has an impartial view of morals – believes that those who have done injustice should be punished no matter who they are  Pious Definition 1 o Doing what Euthyphro is doing: “prosecuting those who commit an injustice…or those who’ve does some other sort of wrong” (5D)  What, according to Socrates, is the problem with this first attempt to give a Socratic Definition of Piety?  It gives an example, doesn’t say what it is  Prosecutes anyone that does wrong even if it is your father  Pious Definition 2 o The god-loved: “what’s loved by the gods is pious, and what’s not loved by the gods is impious” (6e-7a)  According to Socrates, what difficultly arises with this second attempt to give a Socratic Definition of Piety?  The gods are fickle and don’t agree  But it is a better definition  What the gods love is different  Afferdiety likes loves  They will think different things are pious  So therefor the very same actions can be considered
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