Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno and Phaedo

Final definition

Euthyphro then proposes a fifth definition: "Piety is an art of sacrifice and prayer". He proposes the notion of piety as a form of knowledge, of how to do exchange: Giving gifts to the gods, and asking favours in return. (14e) Socrates presses Euthyphro to say what benefit the gods perceive from human gifts – warning him that "knowledge of exchange" is a species of commerce. (14e) Euthyphro objects that the gifts are not a quid pro quo, between man and deity, but are gifts of "honour, esteem, and favour", from man to deity. (15a) In other words, Euthyphro admits that piety is intimately bound to the likes of the gods. The dialogue has come full circle, and Euthyphro leaves Socrates without a clear definition of "piety" as he faces a trial for impiety (ἀσέβεια asebeia).


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