Essay on Socrates 's Theory Of Piety And Virtue

Essay on Socrates 's Theory Of Piety And Virtue

Length: 911 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

When discussing specific knowledge, it is often hard to pin down an exact definition of what it is you are discussing. Often a concept or word will get thrown around so often that it will begin to be taken for granted and when pressed, a person may struggle to pin down specifically what it is they mean. Realizing this, Socrates often went out and attempted to fix these kinds of problems and find out what people actually knew, compared to what they just thought they knew. In the dialogues Euthyphro and Meno, Socrates attempts to pin down definitions for piety and virtue, respectively. In doing so, we are shown that the thinkers in question struggle to define these terms, and attempt to do so in vague terms that may vary heavily under different circumstances. What Socrates is attempting to find is one definitive definition of piety and virtue, what is called his One Form Requirement. Rather than defining something by classifying different parts that make it up, Socrates maintains the belief that piety and virtue both can be simplified into one specific form that describes exactly what makes all F actions F.
Socrate’s first expresses his belief that piety is able to be expressed in simple terms towards the beginning of Euthyphro. He asks the question (to which Euthyphro agrees), “is the pious not the same and alike in every action…and everything that is to be impious presents us with one form or appearance insofar as it is impious?” (Euth. 5d) To say that piety is “alike in every action”, means that within every pious action there is some attribute that makes it pious, regardless of any other details of the action. Socrates also believes you can say the same of virtue, and through the Meno dialogue we are given an easy to grasp coun...


... middle of paper ...


...oved because it is…loved” (Euth. 11a) All they do is claim the other one is true without giving any real reasons to say either why something is loved, or why it’s being loved, and the conclusion is reached that they must not be the same thing.
The reason this definition does not meet the One Form Requirement, is because it fails to explain what makes pious actions pious. What it did succeed in was claiming that piety affects things to have “the quality of being loved by all the gods” (Euth. 11a). While this does help paint a picture of piety, describing one aspect or consequence that piety has on things, it does not accomplish the task of actually showing us how or why the thing became pious in the first place. This affect comes after the formation of piety, and for the One Form Requirement to be fulfilled it is required to find something that comes prior to piety.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Socrates And Socrates About Virtue Essays

- In Meno, by Plato, a question is posed to Socrates whether virtue can be taught, or whether it comes by practice, or is acquired by one’s birth and nature. During this discussion between Meno and Socrates an interesting paradox appears, called Meno’s Dilemma. This paradox is formed in a four statement argument. First, either one knows or does not know X (variable). Secondly, If X is known one cannot learn it, as it is already known. If one does not know X then one cannot learn it because one does not know what you are trying to learn or where to learn it....   [tags: Knowledge, Epistemology, Learning, Plato]

Better Essays
1191 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about Plato 's Apology And The Wisdom Of Socrates

- In Plato’s apology, the story is told of how Chaerephon, friend of Socrates, went to the temple at Delphi to ask the oracle a question pertaining to the wisdom of Socrates, and how it compares to the rest of the men on earth. “He asked if any man was wiser than I, and the Pythian replied that no one was wiser” (Plato). This response was very confusing to Socrates because he recognized that he was not wise at all, and it troubled him for some time. Socrates then tries to refute the oracle by bringing a supposedly wise man from town to the temple to show the Pythian that he was wrong, but when they get there, Socrates realizes that the wise man was not wise at all, and neither of them knew a...   [tags: Plato, Socrates, Philosophy, Virtue]

Better Essays
1304 words (3.7 pages)

Essay about Socrates Elenchus Verses Scientific Theory

- The Socrates Elenchus was Socrates way of questioning a proposal. His method is tested and explained in Plato’s Euthyphro and Meno. Socrates’ method is a series of steps that are meant to test or challenge a claim. The scientific method is a modern day method used to test a theory. Both Socrates’ Elenchus and the Scientific method have similarities and differences. Socrates’ method is very alike to the scientific method however; Socrates’ method seems to be less effective than the scientific method....   [tags: Euthyphro, Meno, Plato, Socrates]

Better Essays
1312 words (3.7 pages)

The Definition Of Piety And Impiety Essays

- “It is not living that matters, but living rightly” - Socrates. In Plato’s Euthyphro, Socrates asks Euthyphro what the definition of piety and impiety are, so that he may survive the indictment set upon him by Meletus. Throughout their dialogue Euthyphro concludes that what is pious is what all the gods love and what is impious is what all gods hate, and in response Socrates challenges his claim by asking, “is the [pious] approved by the gods because it’s [pious], or is it [pious] because it’s approved?” Socrates’ question is important because it helps uncover the absurdity in Euthyphro’s logic, the question leads to personal knowledge of our motives, it also leads to richer philosophical in...   [tags: Plato, Socrates, Euthyphro, Philosophy]

Better Essays
834 words (2.4 pages)

Socrates and Properties Essay

- Socrates and Properties By Characterizing himself –Socrates- as both ignorant and wise, he presents us with one of the most striking paradoxes. Like so many of the other philosophers, is provocative in that its apparent self-contradiction hides an important idea for us readers to discover. Though out this text Socrates ignorance results from his belief that he has no knowledge of moral idea, or moral properties, such as justice, virtue, piety, and beauty. He asserts that, if only he knew the relevant definitions, he would be a moral expert who could answer philosophical questions about moral properties- questions such as is a certain action just....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
3231 words (9.2 pages)

Socrates and the Self Defense Problem Essay

- Socrates and the Self Defense Problem The question of Morality and what it means: Throughout the recorded history of man, there has been a series of questions continually asked by each generation. ³Who are we. Where are we going. Why. Is there a God?² Are just a few of the questions that continue to engage the minds of so many today. But perhaps the most difficult one to really grasp has to do with the theories of ethics and morality, or in layman¹s terms, ³What is good and bad, and how do we live our lives to uphold the good while shunning the bad?² As time has gone on there have been many theories and ideas proposed, ranging from the divine hand theory (dealing with how organized re...   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
663 words (1.9 pages)

Protagoras' Answer to How Virtue Can be Taught by a Story About the Creation of Animals by the Gods

- ... Further, Zeus orders a law regulating social behavior: those who do not conform to social norms are to be killed. Certain types of skills (those relating to basic livelihood) are therefore possessed only by some, but the civic virtues (politike arete) are possessed by all. The Athenian political system, Protagoras concludes, is based on the recognition of just this fact. Having reached this position, Protagoras continues on the subject of punitive justice: to punish a wrongdoer for a past deed is illogical, for the punishment cannot undo the crime....   [tags: species, justice, philisophy]

Better Essays
1017 words (2.9 pages)

Socrates 's Theory Of Notions Of Virtue Essay examples

- Socrates causes us to question our intuitive knowledge of notions of virtue and what it comprises of, defining it as inherently structural. In an attempt to determine what makes up individual justice, he claimed that a man is composed of a rational part, the irrational or appetitive and the spirited. A man is just when his soul is in the right arrangement, causing him to behave according to our intuitive model of justice, it is a tripartite entity. The rational part rules over the others, the irrational element of a person must yield to the command of the rational perspective and the spirited part ought to lend support to the dictation of one 's rational mindset....   [tags: Soul, Spirit, Virtue, Plato]

Better Essays
785 words (2.2 pages)

Socrates - Definitions of Piety Essay

- Socrates - Definitions of Piety      During the Periclean age (around 400 B.C.) in Athens Greece there was a man named Socrates. He was considered a very wise man by the Athenians. However there were men in power who did not care for him or his teachings; Claiming that he corrupted the Athenian youth and did not believe in the Greek gods, Socrates was put on trail. On his way to his trial Socrates met a man named Euthyphro, a professional priest who is respected by the "authorities" (those who want get rid of Socrates)....   [tags: Socrates Plato Philosophy]

Better Essays
928 words (2.7 pages)

Essay about Aristotle 's Theory Of Virtue Ethics

- Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics discusses virtues and their importance in life. He explains what it takes for a person to develop the right traits to be “good”. Aristotle wrote about this theory of Virtue Ethics in around 340 BC (Aristotle). However, after the renaissance period this way of thinking was soon forgotten as common theories became about the acts rather than the person itself. As new religions arose and society began to follow laws and moral codes, people started to neglect Aristotle 's way of examining life (Rachel 's, 2014, page 157)....   [tags: Ethics, Virtue ethics, Virtue]

Better Essays
1373 words (3.9 pages)