Socratic Aporia: the Knowledge Behind Truth

Topics: Plato, Socrates, Ethics Pages: 2 (801 words) Published: November 2, 2012
While reading Five Dialogues by Plato, I came to a lot of dead ends in deciphering the conversations Socrates had with Meno and Euthyphro. Each conversation seemed like it was running in circles but I realized they were running in circles because the conclusion was difficult to define. Socrates counters statements that Euthyphro and Meno make with more questions and eventually they both give up. In Lecture 2, you wrote, “active interpretation of the cultural system into which we are flung by fate opens up new horizons of human possibility.” The idea of active interpretation is what Socrates asks of Euthyphro and Meno. I believe that Socrates was born into a period when language and beliefs were questioned which is why he searched for the truth behind their knowledge.

In the dialogue of Euthyphro, Euthyphro and Socrates debate over what it means to be holy. Euthyphro starts out with a basic definition by saying, “I say that the pious is to do what I am doing now, to prosecute the wrongdoer…not to prosecute is impious”. However, Socrates is unsatisfied with this definition because there are so many ways to be holy. The discussion gets deeper when Euthypho tells him that what is holy is what is agreeable to the gods or what is approved by the gods. Socrates challenges these two questions by stating that the gods don’t agree or approve of the same things. I agree with Socrates on disagreeing with Euthyphro because he does not know what the gods agree or approve of. In fact, he believes those things because they were written down by poets or writers. No one actually knows what the gods agree on or approve of because no one has ever experienced it. In Lecture 6, you discuss the vast stories of Greek mythology and it is here that ideas of what the gods believe in are born. In the end, Euthyphro suggests that we give the gods sacrifices and they answer our prayers so being holy means to satisfy the gods. However, Socrates counters with saying that satisfying the gods...
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