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Euthyphro : Plato - Essay Example

Out of this situation, hence, emerges the issue of defining ‘piety’ or ‘holiness’ in which Socrates takes advantage of his humble condition, being accused of ‘impiety’, to find resolution to the question of piety through his philosophical dialogue with Euthyphro. By his initial attempt to address the inquiry of Socrates, Euthyphro claims “Piety is doing what I’m doing now” in reference to his provision of charges against his father which is based upon the traditional justice known in Greek mythology, as when gods do not let their fathers go unpunished despite strength of kinship. Thus, since Uranus received punishment from Cronos in the same manner that Cronos availed of no impunity from Zeus, Euthyphro’s father is subject to reap the harsh consequences of his action through the son who judges it as immoral by nature. Socrates, nevertheless, refutes this stating “That may be an example of piety, perhaps, but it’s not a definition” as though to imply that one such illustration may not serve alone to constitute the meaning of piety. Moreover, Euthyphro proceeds to argue “Piety or holiness, Socrates, appears to me to be that part of justice which attends to the gods, as there is the other part of justice which attends to men.” To Socrates, this argument sounds almost satisfactory yet he requires that Euthyphro be more specific about his view of ‘attention’ on the ground that its application to the gods and its application to men or other things may not be understood in the same light. He further

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exemplifies with the art of attending to horses in this regard and points out that “horses are said to require attention, and not every person is able to attend to them, but only a person skilled in horsemanship” to which Euthyphro readily agrees (Gutchess, 2003). Similarly, it fits a huntsman to attend to dogs as it fits ox-herd to attend to oxen so that Socrates manages to infer herein that the other man could be supposing piety or holiness to be the art of attending to the gods by definition whenever one conducts himself to be holy or good. At this stage, Euthyphro expresses disagreement and corrects the use of the term by substituting ‘ministration’ for ‘attention’. Considering another aspect of defining holiness, Euthyphro proposes “Holiness is what is agreeable to the gods” yet only to be opposed by Socrates as the latter counters “But, as the stories say, the gods don’t always agree among themselves” after which the former revises the statement with “Holiness is serving the gods … specifically, serving them with prayer and sacrifices.” Apparently, to this extent, Socrates observes that Euthyphro returns to his inadequate position on piety where it is not sufficient to define holiness by merely doing what gods approve of as in pleasing or offering sacrifices to them though such may be taken to be valid description. As a consequence of several instances that Euthyphro finds himself caught in circles of a personal argument that could not seem to converge toward a definitive point of establishing the meaning of holiness even while Socrates seeks to guide the endeavor, he walks out of the conversation with a sense of impatience and frustration. We all know that Socrates is widely recognized for the philosophy of teaching by way of rationalizing within a systematic doubt process in order to
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Complete Name: Course: Title: Euthyphro – Plato On the one hand, Euthyphro assumes the role of a plaintiff who is bound to prosecute his father at the time due to a murderous act committed against another criminal who Euthyphro believes should have undergone fair administration of justice prior to death…
Euthyphro : Plato
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