02Euthyphro - Philosophy 1304 Morality and Justice CRNs:...

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Unformatted text preview: Philosophy 1304 Morality and Justice CRNs: 94414-94425 CRNs: 94414- Course Requirements Read Attend lectures No surfing the internet! (Or email or IM) Attend Discussion Maintain atmosphere of respect and civility! Professor Steve Daskal [email protected] http://learn.vt.edu http://learn.vt.edu 2 Papers (Due 10/6 and 11/17) 4-5 pages Mastery of material plus independent analysis 2 Exams (10/23 and 12/14) Closed book, closed notes Part short answer, part longer response What is Moral Philosophy? In general: "An unexamined life is not worth living." living." -- Socrates, in Plato's Apology Plato' Plato's Euthyphro Stars Socrates - Lived around 400 B.C. Plato was Socrates' student Socrates' - 28 when Socrates was sentenced to death Socrates' approach: Socrates' - No claim to special knowledge or wisdom - Gain insights through dialogue and interaction - Open the door for further examination In this course: - Abstract moral theories -- Aristotle, Kant, Bentham, etc. Bentham, - Specific moral problems -- abortion, death penalty, euthanasia, etc. The Set Up Socrates is on his way to his trial - Meets Euthyphro outside the courthouse Euthyphro's claim: Euthyphro' Others think prosecuting one's father is unholy one' -- But I (Euthyphro) know better (Euthyphro) This creates opening for Socrates: Teach me, o wise one, the nature of the holy! Framing the Question S: "Isn't the holy itself the same in every action?" Isn' action?" -- p. 7 (5d) -- S wants to focus on the essence of the holy - What it is that makes things holy 1 What is the essence of the holy? E's first answer: The holy is prosecuting wrongdoers -- p. 7 (5e) Problem: This is an instance of holiness -- It is not the essence of holiness Euthyphro's Second Attempt E: The holy is what is agreeable to the gods, the unholy is what is disagreeable to them. -- p. 8 (7a) Better: This is a possible essence of the holy Problem: Gods sometimes disagree -- The same thing can be both holy and unholy Euthyphro's Third Attempt E: The holy is what all the gods love (and the unholy is what all the gods hate) -- p. 9 (8b) Possible problem: Will there be any complete agreement? (Will anything be holy or unholy?) -- Set this worry aside The Holy is What is Loved by the Gods Socrates' challenge: Socrates' But is this what makes things holy? Two possibilities: 1. Holy stuff is holy because the Gods love it 2. Gods love holy stuff because it is holy -- or because it has some independent holy-making feature holy- Socrates' Analogy Why is this shirt in the state of "being worn" by me? worn" Possible Answer: Because I am wearing it. -- OK, as far as it goes. But then: Why am I wearing it? -- Answer can't be: can' Because it is in the state of "being worn" worn" Rather: I am wearing it for some other reason -- And this reason (whatever it is) is why it is in the state of "being worn" worn" Socrates' Analogy Applied Why is holy stuff in the state of "being loved" by the loved" gods? Possible Answer: Because they love it. -- OK, as far as it goes. But then: Why do they love it? -- Answer can't be: can' Because it is in the state of "being loved" loved" Rather: They love it for some other reason -- And this reason (whatever it is) is why it is in the state of "being loved" loved" 2 The Point of the Analogy Even if the holy is what is loved by the gods, We can still ask what makes it holy If the gods have a reason for loving it, Then this is what makes it holy Therefore, to understand the holy we need to keep asking questions -- We need to determine why the gods love it The Holy is What is Loved by the Gods Socrates' challenge: Socrates' But is this what makes things holy? Two possibilities: 1. Holy stuff is holy because the Gods love it 2. Gods love holy stuff because it is holy -- or because it has some independent holy-making feature holy- Remainder of the Dialogue Euthyphro makes a few more attempts to identify what makes things holy Upon investigation, it all comes back to: The holy is what is loved by the gods Euthyphro leaves - no real resolution - traditional views shown to be unacceptable A Way Out for Euthyphro? What if the gods choose what to love at will, or on a whim? - Then there is no answer to the question: Why do the gods love what they do? -- Things are holy because they are loved by the gods -- There is nothing more to say about what makes things holy 3 ...
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This note was uploaded on 08/08/2008 for the course PHIL 1304 taught by Professor Wjfitzpatrick during the Fall '05 term at Virginia Tech.

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