Fall 2014 - Undergraduate Course Description
Instructor
Amato, Lawrence
Discipline and Number
PHIL 4380 Section 001
Day
MW Time 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM
Course Title
An Examined Life: Reading Plato

Description of Course:

What is Justice? Beauty? Truth? Goodness? Being? These are Plato’s questions, and they are as pressing and puzzling today as they were over two thousand years ago. Accordingly, there remains no better way to begin and enhance the study of philosophy than to read, reread, and read again Plato throughout one’s life. Now, while the Pre-Socratics deserve consideration in their own right, it is the enduring contribution and legacy of Plato’s dialogues that situate and frame the basic methods and topics of Western philosophy. And though many often treat philosophy as merely an intellectual activity separated from one’s lived life, Plato—through the voice of his teacher and protagonist, Socrates—paints an entirely different portrait: philosophy concerns itself with life well lived, with personal excellence. Toward the aim of familiarizing ourselves with Plato’s practices, terms, and themes—and how they ultimately ever relate back to the examination of one’s own life—we will closely and slowly work through select dialogues, including (but not limited to) the Apology, Crito, Symposium, Republic, and Phaedrus.

Required Texts:

Plato, "Plato: Complete Works," John M. Cooper and D. S. Hutchinson, eds.
Hackett Publishing Co., ISBN-13: 978-0872203495 (Hard copies only.)

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

A protocol paper of 1-2 pp. in length, one essay of 5-7 pp., and a final exam.

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