Plato's understanding of piety
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The Euthyphro portrays Plato’s mentor, Socrates, asking the question, “what is piety”? In the Apology Socrates defends himself from charges of impiety and suggests an answer to this question. Plato amplifies this answer in the Republic and the Laws. As he refines his understanding of piety, he criticizes traditional understanding of divinity. In the Republic he argues that the traditional divinities are morally inadequate; in the Laws he argues that they are theologically inadequate. The philosophic work Plato accomplishes in these dialogues, as well as the Timaeus, suggests a definitive answer to the Euthyphro’s question. Ultimately, this answer requires further analysis. An appendix is amended to the back of this essay with a collection of all the formal arguments and stipulated definitions referred to in the body of the text.
Thesis, MPhil Master of Philosophy
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