Unformatted text preview: Socrates What is philosophy? What is going on in the first reading, PlatoÆs Euthyphro ? It looks as if there is nothing more than an inconclusive discussion, in which EuthyphroÆs words are twisted around against him. Socrates appears to be doing nothing more than making trouble, and he was finally eliminated from the Athens marketplace when he committed suicide in connection with the charge that he had corrupted the youth of Athens. Philosophy in the Western tradition is vitally concerned with language. Words are a powerful instrument, whose use can be directed toward various ends. One end is persuasion. Arguments are used to induce belief in the audience. Socrates and Plato held that some beliefs are better than others: true belief is always the most desirable outcome of argumentation. Thus they clashed with the Sophists, who taught their students how to argue without concern for whether true belief is produced as a result. (The concept of true belief is itself a difficult one, with which Plato and philosophers to the present day have wrestled.) of true belief is itself a difficult one, with which Plato and philosophers to the present day have wrestled....
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- Winter '10
- Philosophy, pious acts, PlatoÆs Euthyphro, pious act pleases