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PHIL 1040 online
Questions on Plato, Euthyphro
1. Where does the dialogue take place? What is the back story?
2. For what term is Socrates seeking a definition?
3. What is the first response which Euthyphro gives to Socrates?s request for a definition? What problem does Socrates have with this answer? (Hint: It?s about definitions and examples.)
4. What is the definition which Euthyphro then provides for Socrates?
5. What is the first problem with this definition that Socrates raises? How does Euthyphro respond to it?
6. What dilemma based on this definition does Socrates then propound? (Hint: A dilemma is a choice between two unpleasant alternatives that we seem to be forced to make.)
7. What revised definition does Euthyphro offer? What problem does Socrates see with the revised definition?
8. How does the dialogue end? What progress have the speakers made toward a resolution of the question?

Euthyphro (excerpt)
By Plato, Translated by Benjamin Jowett

Persons in 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; impeachment is the word which
the Athenians use.

Euth. What! I suppose that someone has been prosecuting you, for
I cannot believe that you are the prosecutor of another.

Soc. Certainly not.

Euth. Then someone else has been prosecuting you?

Soc. Yes.

Euth. And who is he?

Soc. A young man who is little known, Euthyphro; and I hardly know
him: his name is Meletus, and he is of the deme of Pitthis. Perhaps
you may remember his appearance; he has a beak, and long straight
hair, and a beard which is ill grown.

Euth. No, I do not remember him, Socrates. But what is the charge
which he brings against you?

Soc. What is the charge? Well, a very serious charge, which shows
a good deal of character in the young man, and for which he is certainly
not to be despised. He says he knows how the youth are corrupted and
who are their corruptors. I fancy that he must be a wise man, and
seeing that I am the reverse of a wise man, he has found me out, and
is going to accuse me of corrupting his young friends. And of this
our mother, the state, is to be the judge.

Euth. I rather fear, Socrates, that the opposite
will turn out to be the truth. My opinion is that in attacking you
[Meletus] is simply aiming a blow at the foundation of the state?

Soc. And what is your suit, Euthyphro? Are you the pursuer or the
defendant?

Euth. I am the pursuer.

Soc. Of whom?

Euth. You will think me mad when I tell you.

Soc. Why, has the fugitive wings?

Euth. Nay, he is not very volatile at this time of life.

Soc. Who is he?

Euth. My father.

Soc. Your father! My good man??

Euth. Yes.

Soc. And of what is he accused?

Euth. Of murder, Socrates.

Soc. By the powers, Euthyphro! How little does the common herd know
of the nature of right and truth. A man must be an extraordinary man,
and have made great strides in wisdom, before he could have seen his
way to bring such an action.

Euth. Indeed, Socrates, he must.

Soc. I suppose that the man whom your father murdered was one of your
relatives? Clearly he was; for if he had been a stranger you would
never have thought of prosecuting him.

Euth. I am amused, Socrates, at your making a distinction between
one who is a relation and one who is not a relation; for surely the
pollution is the same in either case, if you knowingly associate with
the murderer when you ought to clear yourself and him by proceeding
against him. The real question is whether the murdered man has been
justly slain. I

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