Reading Questions: Neils chpt. 8; Plato, Euthyphro 1. What kind of evidence is there?literary, architectural, sculptural, etc?for Greeks? contact with the ?non-Greek? world? Moving from the early Bronze Age to the late Classical Period, how does this interaction change over time and from place to place? 2. What is distinctive about Greek colonial life in the South (Egypt and North Africa)? The West (Italy, Spain, and France)? The East (Anatolia and Persia)? The North (Thrace and the Black Sea)? What kind of people did the Greeks encounter in these various places, and how did this interaction affect both the Greeks and these others? How did the ?otherness? of the Skythians, Persians, Egyptians, etc, influence the Greeks? own self-concept? 3. Why do you think Plato has set the Euthyphro at the Stoa Basileos (?the porch of the King?) in the center of Athens? What does Euthyphro?s surprised reaction at seeing Socrates tell you about Socrates? usual habits, at least in the estimation of our author? 4. As this short dialogue unfolds, what do we learn about Euthyphro?s and Socrates? business with the King Archon? How does Euthyphro come across in the dialogue? What sort of man is he? Do you agree with his motive for bringing an indictment against his father? What does Socrates think of this, and how do you know? How do the situations of both Socrates and Euthyphro compare with those of other works we have read this semester? 5. How does Socrates come across in this dialogue? What are his motives for questioning and cross-examining his chance companion at the stoa? Is it merely self-interest?a desire to learn about piety and thus to build a better defense against his accusers?that drives him, as he confesses? What do you think of his desire to find a ?single idea? (5d, p. 46) from which to judge all instances of piety of impiety? Does Euthyphro adequately answer his questions? Does it matter? 6. How does the involvement of multiple gods complicate things for Euthyphro?s attempt at a universal definition of piety? Would a monotheistic system solve this problem, complicate it, create a new problem? To wit, how do you think Socrates would react if presented with a definition based on such a system? 6. In the final analysis, is Socrates, in your opinion, getting at something substantive in his questions and examples, or is he just playing sophisticated word games to confuse his companion? 7. Would you yourself enjoy having a conversation like this one with either one or both of the characters of this dialogue? What common points exist between this portrayal of Socrates and that of the Clouds? How are they different? Which one do you like better? Which one, to your mind, seems likely to be closer to the truth?
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