April 26, 2020

While heading to court to answer charges of corrupting the youth, Socrates meets up with Euthyphro who is reporting his father for murder. Euthyphro, one of Plato’s early dialogues, has been variously dated from to BCE, shortly after the death of Socrates 4a-e, translated by G.M.A. Grube. Euthyphro first tries to explain to Socrates what piety and impiety are by . of Socrates, translated by G. M. A. Grube, Hackett Publishing ().

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He points out that the gods not only fail to always agree with each other, but that their disagreements often revolve around seminal human issues such as what is just and unjust. You are commenting using your Twitter account. It is here where Socrates brings up what we called in class the Euthyphro Problem. He asks Euthyphro to teach him about what piety and impiety are, so that he can see for himself whether what Euthyphro is doing to his father is a pious act.

Euthyphro – Wikiquote

You are commenting using your WordPress. Secondly, he is challenging the justifications of Euthyphro, a youth of Athens, for turning against his father.

However, on the other hand, if things are pious independently of grjbe gods, and the go end up loving the pious things because they are already pious, then it looks like the role of the gods is diminished. After running into Euthyphro outside of king-archon’s court and hearing about why Euthyphro is there, Socrates is not convinced that Euthyphro prosecuting his father for murder is the just or pious thing to do.

Many believe Euthyphro crazy to prosecute his own eughyphro.


The Trial and Death of Socrates Plato ; Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Death Scene From Phaedo

He draws on this argument to separate what is god-loved from what is pious. This is a summary of some of the points we covered in lecture. He could have just written a straight-forward dialogue dealing with the nature of piety, but there is more to it than that.

To look at it differently, Socrates thinks a definition of X captures the essence of X: Euthyphro seems so sure that his deeds are correct and pious.

For it may be fine and good eutgyphro all the gods love what is pious, but Socrates wanted to know what piety was, not what a consequence of it was e. One god might think an action just, while another might declare it unjust.

This, then, begins the heart of the dialogue–a rigorous discussion about what piety and impiety are. At this point Euthyphro has had enough. When Socrates attempts to get him to elaborate on that response, Euthyphro goes off track; he now states that piety is an exchange of needs between gods and men.

He wants an unmovable truth. Email required Address never made public. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. He says, “the pious is to do what I am euhtyphro now, to prosecute the wrongdoer, be it about murder or temple robbery or anything else, whether the wrongdoer is your father ot your mother or anyone else.

My own objection would be that this is a bit of circular reasoning in that it defines the concept by the act he wants to justify as being pious in the first place. Euthyphro claims piety is meant to preserve ruthyphro order. As I read it, Euthyphro defines piety as the property of being loved by all the gods.


How is a burnt offering something the gods need? He wants the Essence of piety, its form.

Socrates asks him if he believes in all the myths about the wars between the gods, which he answers with an affirmative.

Sadly, Plato takes the dialogue in a different direction rather than exploring that possibility.

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To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Euthyphro never quite picks ehthyphro on this thread that Socrates offers, but instead he offers a fourth definition that gets closer, but still misses the mark.

Socrates asks him what the gods aim to achieve by using humans as servants. Thanks for sharing your insights on the Euthyphro dilemma. Socrates wants an unambiguous form of piety and impiety that never deviates. Euthyphro tries to ehthyphro his first definition by turning to mythology and talking about how Zeus whom he calls the best and most just of the gods punished his own father, Kronos, for his indiscretions.

Euthyphro by Plato (trans. G.M.A. Grube) | The Consolation of Reading

This is the most complex part of the dialogue. Likewise, Socrates is interested in what piety is –i. Either the gods recognize pious things and love them because they are pious, or else the gods simply love whatever things they do, and it is because gods love these things that they are pious. Moreover, defining “piety” as that which all the gods love is not getting us any closer to figuring out what piety is.

So it looks like we are faced with a dilemma: