Defining Piety in Euthyphro by Plato Essay examples

Defining Piety in Euthyphro by Plato Essay examples

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Main question of the Dialogue
The main question of this dialogue is the definition of the word holy or piety. Euthyphro brags that he is more knowledgeable than his father on matters relating to religion. In this case, Socrates suggests to Euthyphro to define that term. The first definition fails to satisfy Socrates because of its limitation in application. Apparently, Socrates perceives this definition as an example rather than a definition. Subsequent arguments and line of questioning lead to five sets of definitions that are refined to find the general definition. Socrates expects that the acceptable general definition of the question will act as a reference point in his defense.
Problems with Euthyphro’s initial definition
According to Socrates, the initial definition of piety was not a definition but an instance or example of what piety entails. The initial definition fails to provide critical characteristics that make holy things holy. For instance, Euthyphro starts by defining piety as what he is doing now, which is a mere example rather than a definition.
The second definit...

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