Study Questions for Plato's Euthyphro



  1. What is the central topic of the Euthyphro?
  2. Where does the dialogue take place? Why is it important? Why is Socrates there? Why is Euthyphro there?
  3. Why does Socrates think Euthyphro must have knowledge of piety?
  4. How does Socrates suggest Euthyphro might help him in his case against Meletus?
  5. Why does Socrates press Euthyphro to give a definition of piety?
  6. What definitions does Euthyphro offer?
  7. How does Socrates get Euthyphro to abandon the various definitions?  Describe his general method, and show how it works for each definition.
  8. Why is it important not to simply find several examples of piety but to analyze one idea that made things pious or impious?
  9. What are the first attempt at a genuine account of piety and not just examples?
  10. What can we learn from the Euthyphro about Socrates' religious views?
  11. Why do Socrates and Euthyphro reject the definition of piety as "what all the gods love" (starting at 9d)?  What assumptions do they make?
  12. Does Socrates reject the definition of piety as "what all the gods love" because there are pious actions that not all the gods love, because there are non-pious actions that not all the gods love, or for neither reason? 
  13. What is the significance of such concepts as the just and unjust, good and evil,
    honorable and dishonorable? How are these concepts related to each other?
  14. What is the significance of the question whether the pious or holy is beloved by the gods because it is holy, or holy because it is beloved of the gods?
  15. How does the dialogue end?


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