06 Feb

This dialogue shows a typical scenario of two people arguing. These two men talk for a long while, in the end it is unclear whether either one walks away any wiser. Most people take advantage of an opportunity to argue their point when provided. As seen in Euthyprho it would seem Socrates is resolved knowing  that he is right. Plato did write these dialogues, he obviously admires his former teacher and his writings are subject to this bias. That said, the conversations in the dialogues are very one-sided. Euthyphro walks away quickly to end the argument, perhaps he knows neither he nor Socrates will walk away considering the other argument valid, therefore they are wasting time. Maybe, however, Euthyphro did walk away having learned something after considering Socrates’ argument. It is unclear whether Euthyphro goes away to drop the prosecution of his father. Did Euthyphro have a sudden epiphany? It is rare, but sometimes people argue and they do learn something about themselves: they are wrong. All too often though is the argument scenario where people enter an argument with the same conviction they leave with. Failing to consider something other than one’s own view is as American as apple pie: this is “Western” philosophy. “Eastern” or “Confucian” philosophy challenges people to “look inward and examine ourselves when we encounter men of contrary character.” I think this is an important point in current American politics as we fail to heed our own advice time and time again.  America being THE world superpower, it is important to at least attempt to maintain legitimacy. As Americans we are so used to being right (Socrates), when we are wrong we are not, at very least, readily willing to admit our flaws. This is toxic because even if we are right 99% of the time (I’m not saying we are), there still will exist those times when we are wrong. When our credibility as an advice giver is severely damaged because we ourselves are unable to resolve our own problems like debt, how can we maintain legitimacy?  How will America be able to continue suggesting other countries follow things like the Kyoto Protocol and nuclear disarmament/non-proliferation when we are unable to accept these things ourselves? I’m not saying that Socrates was wrong, but if he was… would he realize it? Euthyphro, however, may very well have accepted good advice and learned something from examining himself, even if Socrates’ criticism was the reason he looked inward. It appears to me however, both parties walked away not learning anything.


Posted by on February 6, 2011 in Uncategorized


2 responses to “Euthyphro

  1. andrewpoli275

    February 9, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    As you mention above, you think that since Plato wrote the dialogue that it could be biased. I believe that it could be, but I honestly believe that Socrates’ views are “right” or at least he brings up some great ideas when he questions Euthyphro. Euthyphro claims that he is doing what is pious by bringing his father to trial. But when asked by Socrates to give a defintion of “pious” he can’t even give a good definition. It clearly seems as if Euthyphro is bringing his father to court to gain something or make a name for himself. I like how you talked about how America always thinks it is right when it isn’t. I agree that his a problem that faces our nation but I believe we are getting more comfortable with being wrong sometimes. However, I do believe that other countries like to make an example of us when they themselves do the same things wrong. America is always held to a much higher standard than the rest of the world.

  2. patrickthegreat1

    February 11, 2011 at 3:56 am

    The reason some governments are held in higher regard than others is because they maintain legitimacy. China, India, Russia, Mexico, and Brazil are all considered to be on the rise, rapidly. Logically it makes sense, America is a nation of 330 million people, these places have many more, India and China have over 1 billion, and the others are approaching almost 1 billion. Holding the title of “superpower” has great responsibility, as we all know, with great responsibility comes great burden. We are looked to by other nations to solve problems that may or may not be considered global or international. We are essentially the world police, something we could do without. Look at Canada, they freeload of the United States’ protection and really don’t have to spend anything on defense. Japan, Germany, Europe in general, what would happen if a European nation were attacked, would we be expected to step in? 20 years ago, without a question. Today, probably not. Why? Legitimacy. Individual states in localized regions are stepping up to bat, and guess what, they have more legitimacy than we do. The Iraq War has effectively served this purpose(delegitimacy in IR and Geo-Politics), and the 2008 financial crisis has served to delegitimize the civilian sector. America is an interesting place to live right now, however, I cannot see myself living here, even in 5 years from now.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: