Defining Piety and the Socratic Method
First Definition: An Example
- Euthyphro, "The pious is to do what I am doing now"
- Socrates, Not Example but "Form itself that makes all
pious action pious"
- Rejects definition by example or enumeration (listing)
- Wants universal (essential) definition
Second Definition: Dear to the Gods
- Euthyphro, "What is dear to the gods is pious, what
is not is impious"
- Socrates notes that "the gods are in a state of discord"
- Socrates concludes "The same things then are loved
by the gods and hated by the gods"
Third Definition: Consensus of Gods
- Euthyphro accepts emendation, "What all the gods hate
is impious, and what they all love is pious"
- Central Question: "Is the pious being loved by
the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is being loved by
- Socrates does not want piety to be based on external,
- Gods' love is an "affect or quality" of piety
- Socrates means, by analogy, you can be "lovable" without
anyone "loving" you
- Socrates wants piety to be based on internal, essential
Fourth Definition: Piety as Specific Part of Justice
- Socrates suggests defining piety in terms of justice
and not making a reference to the gods
- Euthyphro make piety the part of justice that is concerned
with the care of the gods and benefit to the gods
- Euthyphro again makes piety what is dear to gods
Response to Reasoning that Goes in Full Circle
- Socrates Assesses Definitions: Act When Good
- Rejected First Definition and Last Definition Are Equivalent
- "Either we were wrong when we agreed before, or, if
we were right then, we are wrong now"
- "So we must investigate again from the beginning what
- Euthyphro replies "I am in a hurry now": Act
When Knows He Does Not Know
Euthyphro and Ethics
- The gods have reasons for loving the pious
- The reasons are what should be examined
- The call for reasons is a call for a non-authoritarian