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 Class Forums - Spring 2013
 PHIL 200-001 - Sokrates and Plato
 Euthyphro - Questions
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Margaret LeBlanc
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Posted - Feb 07 2013 :  5:36:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
While I was reading the Euthyphro I noticed that Socrates repeatedly asks Euthyphro about what "holy" and "unholy" mean although he's never at all satisfied with Euthyphro's answers. I was curious about the point that Socrates was trying to make by asking Euthyphro this question so many times. Was Socrates that devoted to learning what was holy or unholy? Or was he just being sarcastic about the whole thing? I didn't quite understand what this dialogue was about. At the end of the dialogue Euthyphro says that he's busy and that he needs to leave when Socrates asks him yet again about what the holy and unholy really are, so that left me wondering: has Euthyphro yet given him a satisfactory definition of holiness?

[Edited to enhance readability -TT]

Tom Trelogan
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1429 Posts

Posted - Feb 07 2013 :  8:37:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What do you think about this, Margaret? Are any of the definitions Euthuphon gives Sokrates satisfactory definitions—and perhaps more important than that: just who (or just what requirements) must a definition satisfy to be satisfactory?
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Margaret LeBlanc
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4 Posts

Posted - Feb 08 2013 :  10:43:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I thought that this dialogue was mainly based on the use of Socratic irony. From what Sokrates says about Euthuphron's answers, it seems clear to me that none of the things Euthuphron is saying is satisfactory. Even though throughout the dialogue, Sokrates keeps giving examples and descriptions to Euthuphron of what holiness might be and Euthuphron agrees with him about all of these, Euthuphron still can't give Sokrates a satisfactory answer about what holiness is. Honestly, I don't think Sokrates was looking for a satisfactory answer, but hoped that Euthuphron might understand what holiness may be and might think about whether everything around us is both holy and unholy.

[Lightly edited to enhance readability -TT]
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Danielle Ross
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4 Posts

Posted - Feb 08 2013 :  10:48:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's another case of the whole "What is it?" question that originated with Sokrates. He doesn't care so much about learning whether Euthuphron's right or wrong; he just wants to prove that Euthuphron doesn't know what he thinks he knows. The fact that Euthuphron keeps answering differently, keeps getting flustered, and keeps contradicting himself is all Sokrates needs to show that Euthuphron isn't the man he thinks he is.

[Lightly edited to enhance readability -TT]
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Margaret LeBlanc
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4 Posts

Posted - Feb 08 2013 :  12:10:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh, okay. Thank you.

[Very lightly edited to enhance readability -TT]
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Jessica Shadowen
Fledgling

7 Posts

Posted - May 08 2013 :  6:26:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I actually think that Socrates does want to know the answer to the "What is it?" question, and yes he keeps rejecting Euthyphro's answers to prove to Euthyphro that he does not know what he is talking about, but I don't think that was Socrates' ultimate goal. I think he really did want to know the answers to the questions he was asking.

[Lightly edited to enhance readability -TT]

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