Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York
 


Introduction to Plato - Johnson


PHGA 5001

Introduction to Plato

 

 

Instructor: Brian Johnson

E-Mail address: brjohnson@fordham.edu [best way to reach me]

Office Phone Number: 212-636-6394

Office: Lowenstein Building (LL), Room 806e

Office Hours: TBA

During office hours, I am reachable by Instant Messenger:

            AOL and Yahoo ID = fordhamjohnson          MSN = fordhamjohnson@hotmail.com

[Please note: I do not check the e-mail associated with these IM accounts!]

 

Text:

The Complete Dialogues, published by Hackett Press

 

Course Requirements:

                       Reading Assignments.

                       A term paper of 15 – 25 pages.

                       Regular attendance.

 

 

Course Plan and Assigned Readings:

 

Week 1

Introductory lecture on Plato, Socrates, and the problems inherited from the pre-Socratics

 

Week 2

Euthyphro and the Apology: the Elenchus and its malcontents

 

Week 3:

Protagoras: Hedonism and intellectualism

 

Week 4:

Meno: True Beliefs, Recollection and the Hypothetical Method

 

Week 5:

Phaedo: Immortality and the Forms

 

Week 6:

Phaedo: Immortality (cont.) and the Hypothetical Method

 

Week 7:

Gorgias: Examination of justice

 

Week 8:

Gorgias: Justice, nature and convention

 

Week 9:

Phaedrus: Rhetoric and the tri-partite soul

 

Week 10:

Republic 1-2: Set up of the problem about justice

 

Week 11:

Republic 3-4: Civic and individual virtues

 

Week 12:

Republic 5-7: Philosophy and ruling

 

Week 13:

Republic 5-7: Philosophic knowledge and the Forms

 

Week 14:

Republic 8-10: Systems of government and happiness

 

Week 15:

Republic 8-10: (continued); the Myth of Er

 

 

Additional Reading:

General

            W.K.C. Guthrie, A History of Greek Philosophy 3,4 (Cambridge 1971, 1975)

            T.H. Irwin, Plato’s Ethics (Oxford 1995)

            Gregory Vlastos, Socrates: Ironist and Moral Philosopher (Cornell 1991)

            G. Fine, On Ideas (Oxford 1993)

            G. Fine (ed.). Plato 1 & 2. Oxford Readings in Philosophy (Oxford 1999)

T. Irwin. (ed.) Classical Philosophy: Collected Papers (New York 1995)

I. M. Crombie, An Examination of Plato’s Doctrines (London 1962)

            Ch. Kahn, Plato and the Socratic Dialogue (Cambridge 1996)

            R. Kraut (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Plato (Cambridge 1992)

            Steven Everson (ed.), Companions to Ancient Thought, vols. 1-4

 

Commentaries

            R.W. Sharples. Plato: Meno (Bolchazy & Carducci 1985)

            D. Gallop. Plato: Phaedo (Chapil Hill 1965)

            D. Bostock. Plato’s Phaedo (Oxford, 1986)

            J. Annas. An Introduction to Plato’s Republic (Oxford 1981)

Cross & Woozley, Plato’s Republic: a Philosophical Commentary (Macmillan 1966)

E. R. Dodds, Gorgias (Oxford 1959)

 

Papers on Specific Subjects

Early Socratic Dialogues

            G. Vlastos. “The Socratic Elenchus.” Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 1                   (1983), 27–58.

            P.T. Geach. “Plato’s Euthyphro.” In Logic Matters (Berkeley 1980)

            R. Kamtekar, Plato's Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito: Critical Essays (2004)

Gorgias

            G. Vlastos. “Was Polus refuted?” American Journal of Philology 88 (1967) 454–             60.

J. Moss, “Shame, pleasure, and the divided soul.” Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 24 (2005) 137-170.

R. Woolf, “Callicles and Socrates: Psychic (Dis)harmony in the Gorgias.” Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 22 (2000) 1-40.

Meno

            G. Vlastos. “Anamnesis in the Meno.” Dialogue 4 (1965) 143–67.

P.Woodruff. “Plato’s early theory of knowledge.” In S. Everson ed., Epistemology:             Companions to Ancient Thought (Cambridge 1990) 60–84.

G. Fine. “Inquiry in the Meno.” In The Cambridge Companion to Plato (Cambridge 1992) 200–26.

Phaedo

            A. Nehamas. “Plato on the imperfection of the sensible world.” American                                     Philosophical Quarterly 12 (1975) 105–17.

            G. Vlastos. “Reasons and causes in the Phaedo.” In Vlastos, Platonic Studies                   (Princeton 1973) 76–110.

J. Annas. “Aristotle on inefficient causes.” Philosophical Quarterly 32 (1982) 311-26.

            I. Mueller. “Platonism and the study of nature (Phd. 95efff.).” In ed. J. Gentzler,             Method in Ancient Philosophy (Oxford, 1998) 67-89.

Republic

            G. Vlastos. “Degrees of reality in Plato.” In Vlastos, Platonic Studies (Princeton             1973) 58–75.

Ch. Kahn. “Some philosophical uses of ‘to be’ in Plato.” Phronesis 26 (1981) 105–34.

G. Fine. “Knowledge and belief in Republic V–VII.” In Everson, Epistemology,

85–115.

Symposium

F. Sheffield. “Psychic pregnancy and Platonic epistemology.” Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 20 (2001) 1-33.

 

Aside from the readings listed, you should feel free to read the entries on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.  A number of its entries are quite good:

            http://plato.stanford.edu/

 


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