Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Socrates interrupted? Plato’s Euthyphro

Robert W. Wallace


Sokrates is about to be tried for impiety; the prophet Euthyphro plans to prosecute his own father for homicide. Sokrates asks Euthyphro, “what is piety?” The quality of their subsequent arguments is often judged inadequate. I argue that the main purpose of this dialogue is defending Sokrates against the legal and other charges brought against him. Scholars praise its portrait of Sokrates, which I argue is different from Plato’s other portraits on four points: an aristocrat, Sokrates shows class arrogance; his personality is unpleasant; he does not deny teaching; and he calls himself a sophos/sophist. Plato realized that these points, while historically accurate, were not the best defense of his teacher, so he cut short his inadequate dialogue and wrote the Apology, a far better defense and a literary masterpiece.


apology; defence; Sokrates; piety; sophist;

Full Text:

PDF (Italiano)



  • There are currently no refbacks.