Socrates and Euthyphro Conversation
The philosopher Socrates would become famous for challenging the acceptance of the way we look at knowledge and for looking for a way to find a process of thought to explain how we find truth. When talking with Euthyphro, Socrates uses what we have come to call Socratic Irony to show Euthyphro that he does not know as much about Holiness as he thinks he does. Within the conversation Socrates changes the way Euthyphro understands holiness and allows him to make this discovery without making him feel any less about his own knowledge of the subject.
Socrates asks Euthyphro to give him his definition of holiness and after thinking about it he responds, “It is what is loved by the Gods.”(Plato & Jowett, n.d.) When Socrates asks Euthyphro is he feels certain with his answer and explains that the opposite of holy is unholy, to which Euthyphro agrees with Socrates. When Socrates then explains that with all the different Gods that there are they may not love the same things and that what one God loves another may truly hate. Euthyphro should look at his own definition of holiness and find that his prosecution of his own father could be considered unholy then. By using his definition against him, Socrates has caused Euthyphro to see the fault in his thing and must now question the validity of his own thinking of what holiness is. Socratic irony is explained, “Professor Vlastos argues that Socratic irony was responsible for a momentous change in the way in which irony was understood in ancient times. Before Socrates, he argues, irony is connected with lying and deceit, but after Socrates it is associated with wit and urbanity.”(Gottlieb, 1992)
Without telling Euthyphro he is ignorant, Socrates has shown him that his thinking on the subject is in its self, ignorant. Euthypro told us early in the conversation he was having with Socrates that, “My most valued possession is the exact knowledge I have of these matters.”(Plato &...