Analysis of Socrates' Defense in 'The Apology' and Search for the Truth about Piety in 'Euthyphro'

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Socrates' Defense in the Apology and Search for the Truth about Piety in Euthyphro In Plato's Dialogues, there is the singly ignorant person, the individual who is ignorant of some information or truth but who knows that he is ignorant, and the doubly ignorant person, the individual who is ignorant of his own ignorance. Socrates, in the Apology, maintains that he is singly ignorant when he states that the only thing he is that he knows nothing. The singly ignorant person is in a far better position to learn than the doubly ignorant person, because the singly ignorant person admits of his ignorance and can, if he desires, take the necessary steps to remove that ignorance. This is what Socrates does in his dialoguing, a.k.a. "teaching." He is attempting to remove his own ignorance, and in some cases (such as in Euthyphro) move the doubly ignorant person to a state of single ignorance. This paper will show in context the meaning of Socrates' "ignorance" in the Apology and how it relates to his search for the truth about piety in Euthyphro. Charged with promoting atheism and corruption among the young people of Athens, Socrates is brought before the court in the Apology. It is during his testimony that he asserts his "ignorance," yet the context in which he does so helps to shed light on the profound meaning of his assertion. Socrates asserts that the only reason he ever began teaching was in order to "refute the god of Delphi," (21c) who had stated that no man was wiser than

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