Subscribe Apps Podcasts Euthyphro's Dilemma Plato's challenge concerning the nature of goodness is still being heard today:
These early dialogues normally take place between Socrates and one other person, who claims to be an expert with regard to some field of knowledge or other, usually related to virtue. Socrates then confesses his own ignorance, asking his interlocutor to teach him.
Slowly, through questioning, Socrates brings out the truth--that his interlocutor is in fact totally ignorant regarding this field. The irony lies in Socrates' manner of wholeheartedly accepting his interlocutor's word that he is indeed an expert.
Here, for instance, we see Socrates suggesting that Euthyphro must be an expert with regard to what is holy and what is unholy, or else he would never dare prosecute his father. Euthyphro assures Socrates that he is indeed an expert, though we shall soon see that Euthyphro does not know how to define what is holy at all.
Socrates' expressed confidence in Euthyphro's knowledge stands in ironic contrast to what we and presumably Socrates really think: We also find Socratic irony, as well as a distinct touch of bitterness, in the brief mention of Meletus. Meletus who is more prominent in The Apology was the person primarily responsible for bringing Socrates to trial, and thus responsible for his subsequent death.
One of his principal charges is that Socrates corrupts the youth of Athens, and Socrates here suggests that it is a noble pursuit to prosecute those who corrupt the youth. After all, he remarks, the improvement of the youth is of great importance.
This is a standard Socratic belief: In displaying the ignorance of others, Socrates hoped to teach these youths how to reason more carefully and more modestly. Since, according to Socrates, knowledge is the greatest good, his teachings were of great benefit to his students.
Socrates then gives his conviction that one should strive to improve the youth--an ironic twist, suggesting that Meletus should be lauded for pursuing the same goal. We are supposed to infer, of course, that if Meletus were indeed acting for the benefit of the youth, his cause should be lauded, but in fact he is doing quite the contrary: The Euthyphro was written not long after Socrates' execution, and so we should not be surprised that Meletus is presented in a bad light.
Plato has good reason to be bitter toward this man, and refers dismissively to him as a "young unknown," befo re giving a very unflattering description of his physical features. In connection to Meletus' role in Socrates' execution, we should also note Euthyphro's prediction that all should end well for Socrates in this trial.
There is a further touch of irony here, as Euthyphro--who claims to be an expert on matters divine and can predict the future--clearly does not foresee the actual, tragic outcome of Socrates' trial, an early sign that he may not be the expert on divine matters that he thinks he is.
The "divine sign" that Euthyphro alludes to is mentioned also in The Apology at 31c-d and 40a. Socrates explains it is a little voice in his head that often warns him not to do things that could be of great danger to him.
That, for instance, is why he has always stayed away from politics, having been warned by his divine sign that he would meet with trouble.An Explanation of the Euthyphro Dilemma and Plato's Stand PAGES 3. WORDS 1, View Full Essay.
More essays like this: platos stand, euthyphro dilemma, the second horn, power of god. Not sure what I'd do without @Kibin - Alfredo Alvarez, student @ Miami University. Exactly what I needed. Mar 24, · This essay is designed to examine Plato’s “Euthyphro,” and to discuss the ideas of piety which are presented through an elenchus between Socrates and Euthyphro.
Throughout Plato's critique and review of philosophical dilemmas, it often seems as though he speaks through the voice of Reviews: 3. A summary of 2a - 4e in Plato's Euthyphro.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Euthyphro and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.
And Plato preserved the dialogical form even in those of his late works where Socrates is replaced by a stand-in and where the didactic nature of the presentations is hard to reconcile with the pretense of live discussion. 16). Thus, in the Euthyphro, Socrates discusses piety with an ‘expert is faced with the dilemma that.
The Republic (Greek: Πολιτεία, Politeia; Latin: Res Publica) is a Socratic dialogue, written by Plato around BC, concerning justice (δικαιοσύνη), the order and character of the just city-state, and the just man. It is Plato's best-known work, and has proven to be one of the world's most influential works of philosophy and political theory, both intellectually and.
Socrates wonders what Euthyphro means by "looking after the gods." Surely, the gods are omnipotent, and don't need us to look after them or help them in any way. Euthyphro's final suggestion is that holiness is a kind of trading with the gods, where we give them sacrifices and they grant our prayers.