Essay about Euthyphro

1534 Words Apr 13th, 2007 7 Pages
The Euthyphro by Plato Euthyphro, one of the many dialogues written by the Greek philosopher Plato documenting the quest for wisdom by his mentor, Socrates. The time that The Euthyphro takes place is preceding a trial that Socrates is in concerning some allegations that he was corrupting the youth of Athens, and ultimately leads to his demise. But it is a very important dialogue due to how it shows the methods Socrates used to try to gain wisdom, and gives some insight on his and or Plato's view on holiness altogether. In all, the Euthyphro is a display of how the Socratic method of obtaining wisdom works and it enters into what Socrates and Plato define holiness as.
The dialogue begins with Socrates and Euthyphro coming across one
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In the time his father was gone, the man died of exposure, thus putting the blame for this death, in Euthyphro's mind, in his father's hands. Euthyphro's family is angry with him for defending a murderer, but he thinks he knows better because of his knowledge about what is holy and unholy. This leads Socrates to ask Euthyphro his definition on what is holy because it could come of use to him in his own trial.
With some gloating about his expertise in the subject of religion, Euthyphro gives Socrates his first definition of what holiness is. He says that prosecuting those who commit crimes is holy, and not doing so is unholy. He says that the main Greek god, Zeus, imprisoned his father Kronos for castrating his father Uranus. To him this justifies his prosecuting his father. Socrates responds to this statement by using his infamous questioning form to criticizing what is said. He says that this is just an example of a holy act and that there are many other things one can do that are holy. He says there must be a more complete definition of holiness and Euthyphro agrees realizing how shallow an answer that was.
Euthyphro then comes up with a second, more general definition of holiness. This time he says holiness is what is agreeable to the gods. Socrates at first likes this definition because it solves the problem of the first definition being too narrow. But when

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