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lecture six

Course Code
Lloyd Gerson

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Lecture notes sept 14/09
Euthyphro Notes
Historical significance because it is prior to Socrates' trial
Euthyphro is doing something we find chilling; he is indicting his own father for
On the one hand, Greeks took homicide just as seriously as we do, and even
more so because it is impious and unholy
They must be removed from the society or else the gods would come and
punish the society for having such bad people
On the other hand, what Euthyphro is doing is to his father, not a stranger,
something people look upon with abhorrence
Euthyphro is doing so, not for his father's own good, but because it is nomos
There are also unwritten laws such as, you don't rat on your father
But in this case, the written laws and unwritten laws conflict
Euthyphro thinks that to fail to prosecute his father would be an act of impiety
Socrates points out to him, if you're so confident that your actions are pious,
then you must be confident that you know that piety is
And so Socrates asks Euthyphro for an account of what piety is, since
Euthyphro is so confident about what is pious
If it turns out that Euthyphro doesn't know what piety is, then he looks
ridiculous for being so confident in something he didn't know about
No doubt in Socrates and Euthyphro mind that piety is real
Nature and access to immaterial reality
E.g. confusion between jealous and envy
Jealous is when you have something and you want to give it up
Envy is when you want something others have
1. These things are immaterial
How can you make any doubting judgment until you can give a logos of the
relative term?
Some presuppositions both have in their discussion
Piety is something
Account of piety
Practical assumptions, if you are in a positions to know what piety is are
you in a position to comment on EU's action
You need to know what x is to comment on it
By the end of the dialogue no answer comes about
Can think plato knew answer but did not share
Plato did not know and that is why he ended
Or he didn't give an answer
Just because he gave a resolution does not mean it is true or accepted by
others because they do not believe
Why should you believe what plato would say?
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