Introduction to Plato
Fridays, 4:30 – 6:30
Collins Hall, Conference Room
Instructor: Brian Johnson
E-Mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org [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 = email@example.com
[Please note: I do not check the e-mail associated with these IM accounts!]
The Complete Dialogues, published by Hackett Press
· Reading Assignments.
· A term paper of 15 – 25 pages.
· Regular attendance.
Course Plan and Assigned Readings:
Introductory lecture on Plato, Socrates, and the problems inherited from the pre-Socratics
Euthyphro and the Apology: the Elenchus and its malcontents
Protagoras: Hedonism and intellectualism
Meno: True Beliefs, Recollection and the Hypothetical Method
Phaedo: Immortality and the Forms
Phaedo: Immortality (cont.) and the Hypothetical Method
Gorgias: Examination of justice
Gorgias: Justice, nature and convention
Phaedrus: Rhetoric and the tri-partite soul
Republic 1-2: Set up of the problem about justice
Republic 3-4: Civic and individual virtues
Republic 5-7: Philosophy and ruling
Republic 5-7: Philosophic knowledge and the Forms
Republic 8-10: Systems of government and happiness
Republic 8-10: (continued); the Myth of Er
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
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)
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.
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.
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.
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,
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: