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Socrates has been accused of teaching false doctrines and thereby corrupting the youth of Athens. This kind of charge has frequently been made concerning philosophers, and it is for this reason that action has often been taken against them. While it is admitted that everyone is entitled to think as they please, the trouble arises when one tries to persuade other people to think as he does.

That Socrates is not guilty of the charges brought against him can be seen from the fact that he has not been trying to indoctrinate anyone. He does not claim that his own views are perfect or that he has arrived at the final truth concerning the matter under consideration. Instead, his role is that of the inquirer, and his purpose is to get people to think for themselves. In fact, one of his chief criticisms of the Sophists is that they accept too readily what has been told to them by others without ever stopping to consider the evidence upon which it has been based.

It is true that getting people to think for themselves does have its dangers, which to some extent accounts for the opposition that has been raised against Socrates. Clear and correct thinking is bound to expose the errors upon which popular conceptions are often based. It also tends to bring to light the defects of those who pretend to know far more than is actually the case or who boast of qualifications that they do not possess.

Those whose defects have thus been pointed out naturally have a feeling of resentment toward the person who has been responsible for bringing it about. This resentment is one of the reasons why Meletus has been bringing charges against Socrates.

Full text of "Plato's Euthyphro, with introduction and notes by William Arthur Heidel"

It is easier to find fault with the person who is your critic than it is to admit the truth of what the critic has been saying. Although Euthyphro as a Sophist exhibits some of the conceit and arrogance that is characteristic of that group as a whole, he is not to be regarded as a man who is altogether bad. He does have some redeeming qualities. He is a conscientious person and in this respect is ready to perform what he believes to be his duty to the gods — even though it involves bringing charges against his own father. It appears that what Euthyphro's father has done under the existing circumstances was justifiable under Athenian law, and it was quite unlikely that he would be punished.

Nevertheless, Euthyphro believes it is his religious duty to report what his father has done, which is his main reason for doing it. Having fulfilled his duty in regard to the event, his conscience will be at peace. Furthermore, Euthyphro is very much opposed to Meletus and on many points is in complete agreement with Socrates. In harmony with many of his fellow Athenians, Euthyphro conceives of piety in terms of religion, which involves a relationship between gods and humans.

This relationship is understood to mean a process of giving and receiving. Prayers and sacrifices are given to the gods, who in return bestow material benefits on their worshipers. This relationship is obviously what Euthyphro had in mind when he stated that piety is doing that which is dear to the gods, and impiety is doing that which is not pleasing to the gods. When asked what it is that makes something dear to the gods, the reply is that it is attending to their wishes, which is accomplished by making sacrifices to them and by offering prayers of praise and thanksgiving.

One of the purposes of this dialog is to contrast two very different conceptions of religion. One of these is illustrated in Euthyphro's view of religion as a kind of mercenary process. It was a fairly popular view in the city of Athens, just as it has been held by many persons in other times and places.

Making gifts to the gods and receiving benefits from them implied in Euthyphro's case a belief in the reality of the Athenian gods as set forth in popular stories concerning their behavior and their supernatural power. The other conception of religion is the one held by Socrates, who did not accept as literally true many of the popular tales concerning the activities of the gods. It was for this reason that Meletus and others had accused him of being irreligious and undermining the faith of the youth. The accusation was not a just one, for the fact that Socrates did not accept the conception of the gods held by other persons did not imply that he held no belief in divinity at all.

As a matter of fact, Socrates was in one sense of the word a very devout and religious person. Evidence of this can be seen in his attitude with reference to the mystical voice that warned him not to do certain things. This voice, to which he often referred, was regarded as a divine voice, and he always paid heed to it. Further than this, Socrates held that a divine purpose was expressed in the creation of the world, and this purpose was directed toward the moral and spiritual development of human beings. Plato of Athens, who laid the foundations of the Western philosophical tradition and in range and depth ranks among its greatest practitioners, was born to a prosperous and politically active family circa BC.

In early life an admirer of Socrates, Plato later founded the first institution of higher learning in the West, the Academy, among whose many notable alumni was Aristotle. In Euthyphro , set in the weeks before the trial, Socrates and Euthyphro attempt to define holiness. In Apology , Socrates answers his accusers at trial and unapologetically defends his philosophical career.

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Euthyphro Essay

Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Mar 11, Ahmad Sharabiani rated it really liked it Shelves: philosophy , literature , 04th-century-bc , classic , non-fiction , historical , greece , ancient.

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Grube Translator , John M. London: J. The dialogue covers subjects such as the meaning of piety and justice. It depicts a conversation between Socrates and his wealthy friend Crito regarding justice, injustice, and the appropriate response to injustice. Socrates thinks that injustice may not be answered with injustice, and refuses Crito's offer to finance his escape from prison.

The Euthyphro, Socrates And Euthyphro

It appears to attempt to determine the definition of virtue, or arete, meaning virtue in general, rather than particular virtues, such as justice or temperance. Feb 16, Grah rated it it was amazing.

The Republic by Plato - Book III - Part 1 of 2

Who wouldn't love a series of dialogs from a smartass who walked around Athens asking people irritating questions until they finally decided to kill him? In all seriousness though, what I really identified with in this book is not so much the actual philosophy of Socrates, but his insistence on making people think about their beliefs and opinions. View all 3 comments. Nov 14, Terry rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction , philosophy.

All of the Platonic dialogues in this book come together to form something of a narrative of the trial and last days of the famous philosopher Socrates. Covering topics that range from piety, truth, virtue and even the nature of the soul and the afterlife this is a good collection to get started in an investigation of the figure of Socrates and his depiction by his most famous pupil Plato.

Euthyphro : On his way to the Athenian law courts to face charges of impiety and the corruption of the youth All of the Platonic dialogues in this book come together to form something of a narrative of the trial and last days of the famous philosopher Socrates. Euthyphro is himself at the courts to charge his own father in the case of the murder of one of his slaves a legal action that many in the Athens of the time would have considered itself an impious act , though Euthyphro himself is convinced that he has a more accurate view of the will of the gods than anyone who can stand against him.

Socrates thus hopes that this self-styled prophet and expert on piety can teach it to Socrates himself and ultimately aid him in his legal defense. At first Euthyphro is only too eager to accept the challenge until the penetrating questions of Socrates start to show this would-be ally that his convictions are not based on any rational foundation, but are rather the results of his own baseless assumptions and personal feelings.

He is a penetrating questioner, but his lack of tact and disregard for all but the truth show how it was all too likely that even many of those who might admire and support Socrates could in the end be driven away by his remorseless quest for answers. Apology : In which Socrates has his day in court and responds to the allegations of impiety and corruption of the young levelled at him by the Athenian citizens who are fed up with his ability to constantly show up the flimsy nature of their beliefs.

There is much of interest in this dialogue or really monologue for the most part , but it is significant that Socrates avers that the basis for his whole way of life is piety and attributes as the source of his questioning no lesser authority than Apollo himself through the voice of the Delphic oracle. According to Socrates a friend discovered from the oracle that no man was wiser than Socrates himself.