Philosophy in the Contemporary World

Volume 13, Issue 2, Fall 2006

Dialogue with Ancient Philosophy

Norman Fischer
Pages 24-31

Fathers and Sons
On Piety and Humanity

In the Apology of Socrates, Socrates is accused of corrupting the youth. Socrates accounts for this charge by saying that the young of Athens imitate him in revealing the ignorance of their elders. Philosophy is inherently, it seems, emancipatory, since it does not take any traditional opinion as per se authoritative. In this way, it seems that philosophy is essentially opposed to piety. In this essay, I will suggest that the last few pages of Euthyphro indicate a conception of piety that is both consistent with philosophy in the Socratic sense as well as helpful in helping us understand more precisely the nature of philosophy’s emancipatory gesture.