And by let's read me now, I really mean, let's finish up with Euthyphro. Every lesson we start with the general sort of, get your head in the right space question. That was the last video, like the deal with self-help books. But then the next thing I want to do is revisit the last lesson, last week. To jog your memory and help tie the new material in with the old, this time, thank goodness. I'm actually going to say what I think Plato thinks what do I think Plato's real point is regarding a guy like Euthyphro. Course I could be wrong, but won't I be refreshing that I just tried to say it? What is the moral of the story about a guy, Socrates who makes another guy, Euthyphro, look like an idiot, but he doesn't change the idiots mind by making him look like an idiot. Okay, let me back up. Maybe you read Euthyphro this way. At the end of the dialog, Euthyphro is kind of running away, which means he's running away from the Basilius Arcon's Court, which means he's changed his mind about prosecuting dad. Socratic progress, maybe? Euthyphro has come to know what he does not know. Namely, what he was up to, thinking about prosecuting dad like that. I tend to read the dialogue a bit more pessimistically. Euthyphro is upset that Socrates made him look like a fool. No one likes being made to look like a fool. And Euthyphro is an especially proud person. It's part of his self conception, that he's smarter than the other jokers around this place. So it stings, a little bit extra. By the way, I'm sure none of you out there think you're smart. Oh who am I kidding, we're all Euthyphro. You know what makes us all alike, we all think we're just a little bit smarter than the next guy. So, to repeat, what do we think about this guy, Euthyphro. It seems safe to say, Plato thinks there's something wrong with him. Probably with what he's doing, but definitely with how he's thinking. Let's take those in order. Does Plato think Euthyphro is actually wrong to be prosecuting Dad? If his attitudes are those of an average ancient Athenian, he does. On the other hand, Plato has weird ideas about stuff so maybe he has weird ideas about this. On the third hand, there are points in various dialogs where Plato, or Socrates anyway, emphasises the importance of filial piety and respect for parental authority. He emphasizes the need to obey the law, whatever the law may be. He argues against civil di, civil disobedience, and justifies his stance, by analogy with the need to obey parents. All that, makes it sound as though, he wouldn't be in favor, of doing what Euthyphro is doing. Conclusion? Euthypro should not disobey Dad, let alone prosecute him, according to Plato. On the fourth hand, in Republic, that's a dialogue, Plato rather notoriously advocates a kind of communism, you could call it, in which parents, at least parents of the ruling class. Won't even know who their children are. So children won't know who their parents are. Kind of a disturbing picture, isn't it? This is done for the sake of justice. We'll talk about just a bit when we get to Republic. It's not clear how serious Plato is about this very radical proposal. In general, it's hard to know how to combine Plato's taste for revolutionary Utopias, with the Socratic arguments against civil disobedience. How are you going to get a new state if it's not permissible to overthrow an existing one? Well, anyway. For now, it's enough to say whatever the moral disadvantages of ripping children away from their parents, the advantages would obviously include eliminating favoritism. If Euthyphro lived in Plato's republic he would prosecute dad, and that would be fine, because he wouldn't know who dad was. The dad was dad, and that would be fine. Reinforcing this point, Plato's less famous attempt to blueprint Utopia comes in a dialogue called Laws or The Laws. As you might guess, it's an attempt to craft an ideal law code for an ideal state. Plato's law maker emphasis, here I am closely paraphrasing, that strangers, that is, foreigners, need special protection. Precisely because they lack, friends and family. Plato has his lawgiver say specifically that Zeus looks out especially for these strangers, so watch out. And then it's very important to be careful not to be unjust to strangers, not just because of Zeus up there looking out for them, but because it's an easy moral mistake to make. What does he mean by that? He doesn't spell it out, but it's obvious. Are you more likely to cheat the man who live next door, or some stranger you'll never see again? Are you more likely to beat up a guy who's got a bunch of friends standing right next to him, or a guy, all of whose friends are 500 miles away, in some other city? Conclusion, if the law knows what's good for it, and everyone else, it will build in extra protection for those potential victims. Not just because Zeus might toss a lightning bolt, but because it's the right thing to do. The law should take special care to defend the defenseless. For example, those who lack family, and or friends. You know, what Euthyphro would say to that? He'd say, right on! About Zues, about justice being impersonal. This is Euthyphro all over. So, does that mean that after all that, after all that confusing back and forth, that Plato really agrees with Euthyphro? There's an additional complication here. Due to the fact that the Laws is a late dialogue, whereas Euthyphro is early. Maybe Plato just changed his mind. But here's my guess. Even when he wrote Euthyphro, Plato already believed there was a core of moral truth to what Euthyphro thinks. So why didn't he let Euthyphro score some more points? Or any points, really. Why make Euthyphro look like a total idiot, if you think he's actually half right? I think the answer is because even if Euthyphro is right, or half right, it's for half baked reasons. Plato may or may not be in favor of overthrowing the established order for the sake of a better order. But he's not in favor of overthrowing the established order on the basis of half baked ideas. Let's pause for quiz just to see where you stand on them. Which of the following statements do you agree with more. A, a genuine moral or political revolution is a very confusing business. You can't expect revolutionaries going in to really know what they're doing. Not at the start. But so long as the results are good, we can, we can forgive confusion and false starts along the way. B, a genuine moral or political revolution is a very serious business. You can't undertake something so hazardous. Without knowing what you're doing, even if the results are good. We should condemn a revolution undertaken without foreknowledge, of what it truly aims at. And I'm accepting both answers, not because I think they are both equally correct. I'm very much an answer A guy. Either a revolution is always wrong. I don't think it can be always right, or it has to be okay to start a revolution without exactly knowing what you're doing. Because no revolutionary ever has really known what they were doing, life's too uncertain. But I think Plato was more of an answer B guy. Food for thought. Let's move on. When we get to Republic, I'm going to talk about Plato's famous Allegory of the Cave, aka The Myth of the Cave, and his famous theory of ideas. If you want to read about it early, it's in chapter three of my book, but the bare bones are as follows. Bunch of prisoners chained in a dark cave. And only able to look forward. Don't ask why they're chained this way, it's just a story. Point is, we are like them. Back to the prisoners. There's this light source behind them. Actually, there are two light sources, a flickering fire, and higher up behind that, the sun itself. But all the prisoners can see are the shadows these lights are casting on the wall ahead of them. But it takes more than light to make a shadow. Behind the prisoners, there's this weird parade. There's a wall and figures carrying objects along it. The shadows are cast by these objects they're carrying. The prisoners make a kind of game of it, you might say. Trying to predict what shadow will come next, and trying to see order in all the flickering changes. Eventually, one prisoner escapes, and makes his way to the surface. Where, once his eyes get used to it, he can see by the light of the sun, the way things really are. He goes back down into the cave, and tries to free the others. But they don't believe him. Okay. What do we think about this little fable, and what does it have to do with Euthyphro. The allegory is suppose to be read a couple of ways, I'm sure. It's an allegory of knowledge, the move from darkness to light, an allegory of metaphysics that is, it's a story about the structure of reality. It's an allegory of politics, politics later. For now, knowledge in particular. In a sense the metaphor, is obvious. Darkness, and light. If someone asked you to write an allegory of what its like to start at ignorance and achieve knowledge. What are the odds that you wouldn't say something about starting in the dark, and moving up into the light. Thats why they call it enlightenment. Looking at it a different way however And the scene, in this parable is oddly cluttered. Why two sources of light? And what's with that one parade along the wall. Here, let me slap up an illustration I use, when I really try to unpack Plato's really complicated ideas in fulfill detail. You see all of that. Are you confused? Excellent. Just wanted you to be aware, that although on one level the story's simple. On the day you decide you want to get more interested in technical platonic philosophy, there is still plenty of digging to do. For now, keep it simple and visual. The cave is set up like a movie theater with all of the prisoners watching the stupid show that is projected from behind them. In a sense, that's genius. Plato invented the movies, 2,000 years before the movies, just so he could complain about how bad the movies are. That is, it's all just shadows and lies. He invented movies just so he could sit in the back row shouting, focus! In another sense, he didn't invent the movies though. His setup just wouldn't work. But maybe, maybe that's the point? Put it his way, it's unclear whether Plato knew about shadow puppetry. Which is really the closest thing to what he gives us. Greece has a tradition of shadow puppetry, but its strictly modern. Turkey has a tradition going back maybe 1,000 years Asia has even older traditions, but maybe not as old as Plato. Anyway, Plato didn't get this from the ancient Chinese. If Plato did know about shadow puppets, he's got the setup totally backwards. Here's how shadow puppetry works. The puppet, should be behind the screen, not behind the spectators, because otherwise the shadow isn't going to show up well. Now, obviously we all know you could do it the other way. A flashlight, behind your hand aimed at a sheet, You got a barking dog. But if your light source, was a flickering flame, or the sun in the distance, if you had two separate light sources, the image would tend to be so unfocused as to be totally unrecognizable. It would just divide, flicker, and multiply and come back together. Well maybe that's Plato's point. Like I said, focus! Let me just give you, a reading and see what you make of it. The sun stands for the form of the good. I know this is what it stands for, because Plato says so, so far, so good. What's the form of the good? It's the highest value, the value of values. Well, what does that mean? Let's move down to that flickering flame, and all those objects being carried along the wall. Let's stick value labels at this lower level. How about holiness and justice? Don't ask yet why those are lower values than good. Just take my word for it for now. We could stick virtue there in the second level, now that we're moving onto me now. Bunch of other things too, but two is enough. Holiness. And justice. These seem like separate things. Holiness and justice. Is it consistent with philiopiety with holiness to prosecute dad? Is it just to prosecute dad? Two questions. Not one. Two. But, to Euthyphro, whose head is not on straight. Or anyway, it's facing the wrong direction. It all kind of flickers together into one thing, apparently. In Euthyphro's mind, justice and holiness just sort of flow and interchange. That's how it seems to him. He tells stories, in which somehow it all seems to go together. Euthyphro likes exciting stories about the God's. I bet he'd like the movies, spectacular stuff. Okay, let's nail this down to one line of dialogue. Euthyphro complains to Socrates about how all of his definitions have fallen apart. Quote, I can't possibly explain to you what I have in mind. Because every time we advance some proposition it runs away, and won't stay where we put it. Unquote. Socrates remarks that these definitions must be like statues of Daedalus. Who was Daedalus? He was a mythic sculptor, who was supposed to be Socrates ancestor. Daedalus's statues were so life like that they would move around Unless you chained them down. I like this because there's a modern invention, sometimes called a daedalum. More often it's called a zoetrope. It's a precursor to the modern film projector. Here, lemme show you one. Well, okay, that's not very functionally self-evident, is it? Not suppose to be flat like that. Here's what you do, you cut out the flat thing, I'm showing you there, then you roll it into a cylinder, so the pictures are on the inside. Now, cut out all those little slits, then you spit it around somehow, while looking through the slits, and the little guy, he looks like he's running and jumping. Neat, the statue has come to life. In short, a daedalum works a lot like a modern film strip. Many images running past the light in rapid succession, they run together, seeming like only a single moving image. What is truly many, seems like one. I have a confession to make. Technically, this particular design, which is from page 25 of my book. It doesn't work. I tried it. Moral of the story. I shouldn't quit my day job as philosophy professor to become a professional daedalum maker. You're better off going to YouTube or somewhere else if you want to see an actual, working example. But now, the moral of the philosophical story. What does Euthyphro like, he likes stories of the God's. Remember what Socrates says, are we suppose to believe it all really happened? Like on the robe that is carried up to the statue of the goddess, during the pan atane festival. The peplos, the robe, was traditionally embroidered with images of the gods. Fighting the giants, order and light, the Olympian gods, versus chaos, darkness, and all those giants from down below. But, the stories themselves don't seem like symbols of light triumphing over darkness. So they're totally confusing. For example, sometimes the giants are represented as having snakes for legs, like you see there. How are they supposed to walk around like that? Anyway. These stories are like Euthyphro. He too is all about light and reason, triumphing over primitive darkness. But his stories about how that is supposed to go is pretty primitive. And not too bright. Euthyphro's mind, here we get to the point, is like a moral daedalum. Virtue, holiness, justice, service, piety, prudence, cleanliness, the law. They're are parading past with the light of thought seeming to stream through them and it looks like life, action. Maybe the first stage of real moral growth, intellectually, philosophically, is reverse engineering this whole motion picture process. Don't look at the screen. Analyze out the components of the image. See that it is many, not one. That is, see that there's virtue, holiness, justice, service, piety, prudence, cleanliness, the law. And on and on, and they're all different, distinct, even if they're related enough that you can run them together in some kind of animation production. This is kind of a frustrating first step. Before it was all alive, but if we stop the show, he looks dead. Damn you, Socrates, spoiling my show. But maybe we can put it back together. Maybe turning around and seeing it all fall to pieces is just a stage on the way to it all coming together again. And Plato's answer is, that's right. All those many things, they're all good. Justice is good, and holiness is good, and on and on. And when you understand how and why they are, you'll will have an authentic sense of moral unity. Not a, not just that sort of fake sense of making sense that Hollywood can maybe provide. Or the peplos with the stories about the gods. Two, equals one, is the soul of the cinema, but in a theatrical, illusory sense. Many still images seeming to be one moving image. Two equals one is also the soul of philosophy. But in a theo, theoretical, real sense, many seemingly separate moving things are revealed to be really one solid unmoving thing. Otherwise it just doesn't make sense. Euthyphro isn't wrong to want to see unity in all this. Isn't necessarily wrong to think unity might be something, really surprising. Something different than what the average Athenian on the street thinks. But before you set out to do something as radical as prosecute your own dad, you really better get your head on straight. This seems like a good time for a quiz. Let me try to keep it short. Do you think that literature, good stories, teaches about what's right and wrong, and what's really valuable in life? A, yes. B, no. Boring old me, I'll accept either answer. I'll bet most of you said yes, though. Didn't you? Congratulations, you're kind of like Euthyphro. Plato thinks you're wrong. Well, let me be more precise. Maybe like most normal young people these days, you've been raised on a strict diet of kids going to wizard school, sparkly vampires, kids being forced to fight in post apocalyptic arena games. And, maybe you read Romeo and Juliet for class. Or as I like to call it Friar Lawrence is doing this the hard way. As I was saying, you grew up surrounded by heroes with spectacular powers. So obviously you know right from wrong. Well, Plato thinks you're wrong. Being entertained by a sense that you know right from wrong is not the same as knowing right from wrong. Unless you set the stories aside, and think about whether it all makes rational sense, you don't know whether you know right from wrong. Let me finish out by saying what I think Plato really thinks of that whole chicken and egg problem, Euthyphro's dilemma, remember that? Do the gods love it because it's good, or is it good because the gods love it? Makes no sense to go either way. The only way out of this is to make God identical with the good. God can't be thought of as anthropomorphic. Certainly God isn't some guy on Olympus, threatening to lob lightning bolts, occasionally sleeping around with mortals to the annoyance of his wife. God is the good. Namely, the reason why the good is good and why some other things are good, as a means to a good end. But that makes religion pretty conceptual, pretty theoretical. One last quiz, to carry us over to the meaning. Why do you suppose the professor wasted so much time talking about Euthyphro, when his lesson is supposed to be about Meno? A, poor time and classroom management. B, he's making some kind of point. I'm going to go for B, because personally it's my best option at this point. Meno, the dialog, is about virtue. Human excellence. Meno, they guy, isn't quite as weird as Euthyphro. Meno has rather conventional ideas about what is going to make his life worth living. Money, power, status, the usual suspects. But he's like Euthyphro in this way. He sees some guy up there on a pedestal, some figure. Some vivid image of life, nobly lived. He'd like that. Also if you want to see the light, maybe you have to stagger around for a while in the dark. Let's read Meno.