A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science
Ed. by Wildberg, Christian / Morison, Benjamin
In this article, we treat the Euthyphro as thematically akin to the Charmides and other early dialogues, where the structure of human action is explored and different modes of doing (the poiein and ergazesthai of prattein) are studied, in order to figure out what a particular virtue (piety) is. Under this approach, as we will argue, the key question of why gods love piety falls into the general issue of why the Good attracts, namely, of the passive-active agency of loving, rather than constitutes a religious inquiry on volitionism or otherwise. The key point of the essay is this: love belongs to a special type of action category (along with “to be friendly to,” “to admire,” and “to see” or “to perceive”) that the actor is the sufferer or at least partially passive, whereas the party acted upon is hardly passive at all. The real active agency may be hard to pinpoint, but is initially found in/through the beloved (or the party acted upon).