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CL1238 Plato

This module explores the revolution in philosophical thinking initiated in Athens by Socrates (469-399 BC) in the latter half of the fifth century BC, and its further development by his creative disciple Plato (427-347 BC) during the first half of the fourth century BC. Weekly lectures discuss the intellectual context, central preoccupations, interpretative problems and defining features of Platonic philosophy through close readings of a selection of Plato's writings (Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Protagoras, Symposium and Phaedrus); language classes are organized around close reading of the Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito
  • Module Organiser:
    • Dr Ashley Clements
  • Duration:
    • One term (Sept-Dec)
  • Contact Hours:
    • 60 (JF Latin A, SF Latin B) or 49 (16 lectures, 22 reading classes and 22 or 11 language labs)
  • Weighting:
    • 10 ECTS
  • Assessment:
    • 50% continuous assessment (two written assignments), 50% final examination

Learning Outcomes

Upon the successful completion of this module students should be able to demonstrate:

  • An understanding of Plato’s dialogues in their historical, dramatic/literary and philosophical context as literary, philosophical and political works
  • Familiarity with the key intellectual influences on Plato’s thought, an understanding of Plato’s conceptions of philosophical method, and his uses of the dialogue form
  • Further development of critical close-reading skills, and powers of verbal and written analysis and argument
  • Ability to translate and analyse the texts studied in Greek

Introductory Reading

  • Benson, H. H. (2009) (ed.) A Companion to Plato. London.
  • Fine, G. (2008) (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Plato. Oxford.
  • Rowe, C.J. (2007) Plato and the Art of Philosophical Writing. Cambridge.
  • Guthrie, W.K.C. (1971) A History of Greek Philosophy, Vol. 3. Socrates. Cambridge.
  • Guthrie, W.K.C. (1975) A History of Greek Philosophy, Vol. 4. Plato: The Man and his Dialogues: The Earlier Period. Cambridge.
  • Vlastos, G. (1991) Socrates, Ironist and Moral Philosopher. Cambridge.

Recommended Editions

  • Bailly, J. A. (2003) Plato's Euthyphro and Clitophon. Newburyport.
  • Emlyn-Jones, C. (1991) Plato: Euthyphro. London: Bristol Classical Press.
  • Helm, J. J. (1999) Plato: Apology; text, grammatical commentary, vocabulary. Wauconda, Illinois.
  • Campbell, M. (1999) Plato: Crito. London: Bristol Classical Press.
  • Burnet, J. (1924) Plato's Euthyphro, Apology of Socrates, and Crito. Oxford.