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Euthyphro : Plato - Assignment Example

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The dialogue between Socrates and Euthyphro represents that form of a dialogue that makes one understand the ideas of piety and holiness as they existed during the ancient Greek period. In this dialogue, Euthyphro talks of several definitions of what constitutes piety. To begin with, he defines piety through an example of what he does at a certain point of time in his life. This is the prosecution of his own father for the crimes that he has committed (Plato). While this may appear to us as a great example of virtue and holiness, it is precisely that- an example of holiness. It cannot be considered to be a definition of virtue in the metaphysical sense that it is considered to occupy in the philosophy that is expounded by Socrates. In that sense, therefore, what Euthyphro defines as holiness cannot be taken to be an adequate understanding of holiness. His understanding is flawed at the very outset where he views holiness as an action and not as a trait. Through locating piety in a single action, he leaves out the broader definition of the idea and hence presents a narrow view of piety. This can be considered to be one of the most important reasons for the rejection of tis definition of virtue by Socrates. Therefore, Euthyphro is forced to move on to a more comprehensive definition of virtue. ...
Anyone who is familiar with Greek mythology would know that the gods are almost always at loggerheads when it comes to making decisions or supporting certain actions. This can be seen in Homer’s Iliad where different gods support different camps within the Greek camp (Homer). This is then an indication of the extent to which the gods themselves are metaphysical beings. The third definition then seeks to present in an almost monotheistic fashion, the unity of gods. This is a forced unity whereby Euthyphro talks of the unity of gods where judgements of piety are concerned. Here, he defines piety as that which is approved by all the gods and the lack of piety as that which is rejected by all the gods. Socrates then talks of the essential nature of piety and asks whether the essence of piety is constituted by the approval of gods or whether the approval of gods followed the piety of an action (Plato). Thus, a dialectic is set up that analyzes two aspects of the claims that Euthyphro makes regarding the nature of piety and the gods’ role in it. It then remains to be seen what the definition that Socrates provides is. Socrates locates piety within a larger framework of justice that then operates on the earth (Plato). While this may be considered to be one of the ways in which piety can be defined, it is too broad and fails to understand the essential nature of piety. Socrates’s definition looks at the universal aspect of piety while neglecting the everyday performative aspect of piety that is equally important in a discussion of the very idea of holiness. In this sense, the definition that is provided by Socrates suffers from many a ...Show more
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Summary

Socrates and Piety Your Name Name of of Professor Socrates and Piety Socrates’s dialogues are considered to be one of the most important treatises of philosophy and one of the foundations for the emergence of modern western philosophy as well…
Euthyphro : Plato
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