Euthyphro by Plato. - HTML preview

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Then follows the third and last definition, ‘Pi-There seem to be altogether three aims or in-ety is a part of justice.’ Thus far Socrates has terests in this little Dialogue: (1) the dialectical proceeded in placing religion on a moral founda-development of the idea of piety; (2) the antith-tion. He is seeking to realize the harmony of reli-esis of true and false religion, which is carried to gion and morality, which the great poets a certain extent only; (3) the defence of Socrates.

Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Pindar had uncon-The subtle connection with the Apology and the sciously anticipated, and which is the universal Crito; the holding back of the conclusion, as in want of all men. To this the soothsayer adds the the Charmides, Lysis, Laches, Protagoras, and ceremonial element, ‘attending upon the gods.’

other Dialogues; the deep insight into the reli-When further interrogated by Socrates as to the gious world; the dramatic power and play of the nature of this ‘attention to the gods,’ he replies, two characters; the inimitable irony, are reasons that piety is an affair of business, a science of for believing that the Euthyphro is a genuine Pla-giving and asking, and the like. Socrates points tonic writing. The spirit in which the popular rep-out the anthropomorphism of these notions, (com-resentations of mythology are denounced recalls pare Symp.; Republic; Politicus.) But when we Republic II. The virtue of piety has been already expect him to go on and show that the true ser-mentioned as one of five in the Protagoras, but is vice of the gods is the service of the spirit and the not reckoned among the four cardinal virtues of co-operation with them in all things true and good, Republic IV. The figure of Daedalus has occurred he stops short; this was a lesson which the sooth-in the Meno; that of Proteus in the Euthydemus sayer could not have been made to understand, and Io. The kingly science has already appeared and which every one must learn for himself.

in the Euthydemus, and will reappear in the 9


Republic and Statesman. But neither from these EUTHYPHRO

nor any other indications of similarity or difference, and still less from arguments respecting by

the suitableness of this little work to aid Socrates at the time of his trial or the reverse, can any Plato

evidence of the date be obtained.

Translated by Benjamin Jowett PERSONS OF THE DIALOGUE: Socrates, Euthyphro.

SCENE: The Porch of the King Archon.

EUTHYPHRO: Why have you left the Lyceum, Socrates? and what are you doing in the Porch of the King Archon? Surely you cannot be concerned in a suit before the King, like myself?

SOCRATES: Not in a suit, Euthyphro; impeach-ment is the word which the Athenians use.

EUTHYPHRO: What! I suppose that some one has been prosecuting you, for I cannot believe that you are the prosecutor of another.

SOCRATES: Certainly not.