Compare Euthyphro and Socrates in the Apology and the Euthyphro. In what ways is Socrates wise and Euthyphro unwise? Socrates (470-399 BC) is in many ways the foundational figure in Western philosophy. Though the discipline of philosophy is older than Socrates – much older, as there were philosophers in Egypt that Socrates claims he learns much from and who said that the Greeks were like children with regard to knowledge – no one else did as much to set the path for philosophy. According to the great Roman orator and philosopher Cicero, Socrates was “the first who brought philosophy down from the heavens, placed it in cities, introduced it into families, and obliged it to examine into life and morals, and good and evil.” The best introduction to Socrates, and to ethics as well as philosophy as a whole, is the works of Plato. Plato was a student of Socrates, and one of the greatest philosophers in his own right. He wrote numerous books, most of which are dialogues (a genre of writing that mimics a conversation, with two or more characters speaking to each other) featuring Socrates. Socrates himself never wrote – it is mainly through Plato`s writings that he is known. Plato`s works as a whole were hugely influential in the West. The major British philosopher A. N. Whitehead once commented that “the safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.” To begin this class, we will read Plato`s Apology. The Apology tells of the trial of Socrates. He was charged with impiety – disbelief in the gods of Athens – and with corrupting the young through his teaching. To defend against the charge, he has to give an account of his life, and so tells of his calling to practice philosophy and what that practice entailed.