Philosophy 187

Fall 2010

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
187 Special Topics in the History of Philosophy: Plato’s “Republic” Gelber M 2-5 122 Latimer

This course will explore a number of perennial problems through a close reading of Plato’s literary and philosophical masterpiece, “The Republic”. While examining the ways these problems arise and the answers that Plato gives to them in this influential text, we will be asking ourselves whether these are answers we could endorse. The issues that we will examine will include: What does being a just or good person involve? Why do we want to be good or just? How should our social institutions be structured in order to promote a just state? What should education be like, and what is it for? Is it ever permissible for the government to lie to the people? Is censorship ever justified? What role should women have in society?

In order to understand Plato’s answers to these questions, we will delve into his moral psychology (the nature of the soul, of virtue, of moral beliefs, and the relation between reason and emotion) as well as the metaphysical and epistemological aspects of Plato’s Theory of Forms.

The format of this course will be a seminar, and enrollment is limited to 20 participants. It will be accessible to anyone who has taken Philosophy 25A or equivalent. At least 8 previously completed units of philosophy are required.

Set translation:“Republic”, translated by Grube, revised by Reeve (Hackett).

Previously taught: SU10D, FL09, SP08, SP07.