Socrates and the Problem of Justice
Read the first page of the chapter commentary and all of Plato's dialogue, Euthyphro, pp 41-58. Look for this file among the readings posted on the Lecture class's Blackboard site.
In thinking about what's at stake in Plato's takedown of Euthyphro, consider the following:
- Since Euthyphro is identified as a seer or mantis, read a short excerpt from Michael Flower's book on that profession in Ancient Greece.
- Since this is the second consecutive "takedown" by Plato, read a short excerpt from Michael Gagarin's book on the Sophists of Ancient Greece—the profession to which Gorgias belonged.
If you're curious to read more of either book, both are available online through the BU Library portal.
For homework, write a response to ONE of the following questions:
- What's your opinion about the moral predicament faced by Euthyphro? What should he do?
- Given the difficulty of Euthyphro's predicament, why does Plato/Socrates think that he's a fool? What does Plato/Socrates think Euthyphro should do?
- What similarities (or differences) do you see between Plato/Socrates' treatment of Gorgias and their treatment of Euthyphro? What conclusion might you reach as to Plato/Socrates' political/philosophical objective?
- Based on these two dialogues, what relationship do you see between Plato and Socrates? Can/should they be meaningfully merged together, or do they stand at some remove from one another?