Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno and Phaedo

Socrates through Euthyphro College

Socrates found Euthyphro in the agora and after very brief rapport launched straight into asking the question of what is virtue; in the case of Euthyphro, the specific virtue being discussed is piety. Socrates was able to look at his subjects, including Euthyphro, in such a critical light which stems back to his statement that “I do not think I know what I do not know” (Apology 21d). This statement shows Socrates’ acknowledgment that he doesn’t know everything and provides a theory as to why he is always trying to learn from his interlocutors. He tends to avoid assertions and instead favors an investigation into the position of the interlocutor, which helps him to uncover that person. He usually lets the character of his interlocutor and their willingness to learn (or lack of) direct the discussion. However, in the end, Socrates tends to teach his interlocutors more than they teach him. Socrates seems to be well aware of these roles he plays. He was placed in Athens for a reason and was able to rouse everyone around him (Apology 30e).

Euthyphro provides a perfect example of Socrates’ willingness to learn from his interlocutor and his ability to teach the interlocutor in the process. In this particular dialogue Euthyphro is the...

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