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philosophy final study guide

philosophy final study guide - STUDY QUESTIONS The Trial...

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STUDY QUESTIONS The Trial and Death of Socrates 1. Where do Socrates and Euthyphro meet? What are they doing there? Near the courthouse. They are both going to take part in different trials. Socrates and euthyphro meet near the courthouse in Athens. Socrates is there for a trial, while euthyphro is going to bring charges against his own father, who had let a slave of his (guilty of murder) die of starvation and cold. 2. What is Euthyphro’s profession? What is the charge brought against Socrates? Are the two related? In what way? Euthyphro is a priest. That Socrates is corrupting the young. Yes, because Socrates’s corruption of the young is supposed to include creating new gods and not believing in old ones. 3. What do many people think of Euthyphro’s legal action? Is he worried about this judgment? Why (or why not)? Many think that this action on euthyphro arrogantly dismisses any such suggestion: he is a priest, hence knows professionally all there is to know about piety. 4. Euthyphro’s first answer to Socrates’s basic question is: “the pious is to do what I am doing now.” How does Socrates refute it? Euthyprho answers: “ I say that the pious is to do what I am doing now, to prosecute the wrongdoer, be it about murder or temple robbery or anything else.” However Socrates says he is not looking for an example of piety but a definition of piety. 5. Euthyphro’s second answer to Socrates’s basic question is: “what is dear to the gods is pious, what is not is impious.” What are two reasons why this answer is not satisfactory? On one hand, the Greeks had many gods, and often these gods did not agree with one other. So even the gods would not agree upon what is piety. One the other hand, this definition does not show if the pious is loved by the gods if it is pious, or is it pious because it is being loved by the gods. If the former, that we still do
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not have a definition of piety. If the latter, then we have a definition that cannot distinguish “piety” from everything else the gods love. 6. Euthyphro’s third answer to Socrates’s basic question is: “the godly and pious is the part of the just that is concerned with the care of the gods.” How does Socrates criticize it? Ordinarily an object of care is benefited by the ones caring for him/her/it. It would be ridiculous to claim that the gods are benefitted by human behavior, or that they have any kind of goal which needs the help of humans. So the gods must like humans to behave piously, which has already been proven not an adequate definition. 7. How does the Euthyphro end? Do we know then what piety is? What is the significance of this conclusion? The Euthyphro ends with Euthyphro becoming impatient so he leaves and we still do not know the definition of piety. The conclusion shows that philosophy is an interminable process, and that no final resolution will ever be forthcoming; but we also know that going through this process within out time limits is the only way to
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