Euthyphro, Foucault, and baseball: Teaching the euthyphro

Teaching Philosophy 30 (3):249-258 (2007)
Abstract
The central question of the Euthyphro is “Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or pious because it is loved?” A baseball analogy explains this to students: “Does the umpire say ‘Out’ because the runner is out, or is the runner out because the umpire says ‘Out’?” The former makes the relevant knowledge public, making Socrates the appropriate secular moral authority, while the latter makes it religious, invoking Euthyphro’s expertise. Foucault’s aphorism that power is knowledge illuminates how the aristocracy stands behind Euthyphro, while Socrates empowers the democracy. An abstract epistemological question has important political consequences
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