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PHIL 310 The Philosophy of Plato

A study of Plato's dialogues and his influence on subsequent philosophy.

This course is eligible for Credit/D/Fail grading. To determine whether you can take this course for Credit/D/Fail grading, visit the Credit/D/Fail website. You must register in the course before you can select the Credit/D/Fail grading option.

Credits: 3

Pre-reqs: (PHIL/CLST 211 and PHIL/CLST 212 are recommended.)


Status Section Activity Term Interval Days Start Time End Time Comments
FullPHIL 310 001Web-Oriented Course1 Mon Wed Fri11:0012:00

This course will introduce you to Plato's philosophy as he develops it in a number of dialogues: Euthyphro, Protagoras, Phaedo, and Republic. At the time Plato writes these dialogues, the lines between philosophy and other disciplines, such as rhetoric, natural science, and religious prophesy, are not clearly drawn. While part of Plato's project is to draw and defend precisely these boundaries, the dialogues themselves are a complicated blend of philosophical and dramatic elements. We will examine the interaction between these elements. Some of the more dramatic features we will consider are: the role of the dialectical setting in framing the conversation to come; Plato's characterizations of Socrates and of his interlocutors; and his use of myth. We will follow Plato's Socrates as he se and ~

eks to answer a variety of philosophical questions: What is the nature of the divine?; Is philosophy a form of rhetoric?; Are we immortal?; How does one become a morally good person?; What reasons does one have to want to be a good person? As we will see, Plato's distinctive formulations of these questions are of as much philosophical interest as his answers.

COVID-19 notice: Please note that students will be expected to participate in one hour of synchronous instruction per week. All remaining elements of instruction will be asynchronous, except for office hours.