Sophist, Statesman, Philosopher: Plato's Later Metaphysics and Politics|
Spring 2020 not offered
PHIL 306, COL 335|
How is it possible to speak falsely? Plato connects this question with a puzzle he inherits from the great pre-Socratic philosopher Parmenides: to speak falsely is to speak about what is not; but in speaking about what is not, we ascribe being somehow to not-being, which sounds like a contradiction. This seminar will focus on the metaphysical, epistemological, and political issues generated by Parmenides's puzzle and explore Plato's solution to them in two of his later-period works: the Sophist and the Statesman. In the process, we will see how Plato rethinks his theory of forms in these dialogues, how he learns to let go of Socrates, how a sophist should be distinguished from a philosopher, and how all of this is relevant to politics and the art of ruling.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (COL)(PHIL)(PHIL-Philosophy)(PHIL-Social Jus)
Plato, SOPHIST; Plato, STATESMAN; various secondary source articles and readings
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Group presentation; class participation; four reflection essays; one final research paper.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Students who have taken PHIL 201 will be adequately prepared for this seminar. For students who have not taken PHIL 201: if you have a background that you believe provides you with a basis to take this seminar, please send a short note to firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate: (1) your knowledge of ancient philosophy and/or specific interest in Plato; and (2) any prior courses you've taken that you feel prepare you for the readings.
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