Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (4):657-675 (2006)

Brendan O'Sullivan
Stonehill College
A sizable literature exists concerning the structure of Socrates’ argument at Euthyphro 9d–11b. Although there is some dispute, a substitutional reading has emerged as a leading interpretation. However, some rear-guard maneuvers are in order to defend this reading against its competitors. In this paper, I articulate a substitutional reading and argue that it is invalid on two counts: one, Socrates oversteps the logic of his reductio ad absurdum, and two, he illicitly substitutes coreferring expressions in explanatory contexts. Next, I defend the substitutional reading by rebutting its leading contender, Sharvy’s formal causation interpretation, and showing how a similar substitutional argument is made in the Protagoras.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0038-4283
DOI southernjphil200644430
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