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LECTURE TOPICS

Lecture 1 & 2:
Course Introduction: background; Plato and Socrates; the Socratic method.

Readings:
Plato, Euthyphro.
Christopher Rowe, An Introduction to Greek Ethics, 1976: Ch.1 ‘The Sophists’ & Ch.2 ‘Socrates’.
Alexander Nehamas, ‘What did Socrates teach and to whom did he teach it?’.

Lecture 3 & 4:
What is ‘irony’?

Readings:
Plato, Euthyphro
Gregory Vlastos, ‘Socrates’ Disavowal of Knowledge’ & ‘Socratic Irony’.
Alexander Nehamas, ‘Socratic Irony: Character and Author’.

Lecture 5 & 6:
The trial of Socrates: Why is ‘the unexamined life’ not worth living?

Readings:
Plato, Apology
T.C. Brickhouse & N.D. Smith, ‘The formal charges against Socrates’.

Tutorial 1: Week beginning Sept 14th.

Lecture 7 & 8:
Knowledge vs. opinion and Truth vs. illusion: Plato’s theory of the Forms.

Readings:
Plato, Phaedo, 57a-88c
Plato, Republic, 484a-520d.
Terence Irwin, “The Theory of Forms.
Julia Annas, An Introduction to Plato’s Republic, Ch.10.

Lecture 9 & 10:
The nature of the soul –– immortal.

Readings:
Plato, Phaedo, 88d-118a.
Plato, Phaedrus, Penguin Edition, p.61-66 [254-257]
C.J. Rowe, ‘On the Soul’.

Lecture 11 & 12:
Plato the dramatist, Socrates the anti-Sophist

Readings:
Plato, Protagoras, 309a-335c
Patricia O’Grady (ed.), The Sophists : an introduction (Ch.3 & 16)

Tutorial 2: Week beginning Oct 5th.

HKU Reading Week (Oct 12-17)

Lecture 13 & 14:
Virtue and Knowledge

Readings:
Plato, Protagoras, 335d-362a
Gregory Vlastos, ‘The Unity of the Virtues in the Protagoras’ (in, Platonic Studies).
James Allen, ‘Dialectic and virtue in Plato’s Protagoras’ (in, The Virtuous Life in Greek Ethics).

Lecture 15 & 16:
Knowledge – Soul – Eros. What Greek men called ‘love’.

Readings:
Plato, Symposium,  [172a-180b] and [180c-212d].

David Halperin, ‘Platonic Eros and What Men Call Love’.

Terence Irwin, ‘Platonic Love’.

Lecture 17 & 18
Alcibiades and Socrates: Virtue – Knowledge – Desire.

Readings:
Plato, Symposium, [212e-223d].
Michel Foucault, The Use of Pleasure (History of Sexuality Vol. 2), Part Five “True Love”.
Sarah Kofman, Socrates: Fictions of a Philosopher, Section 1 “Socrates and His Twins.”

Lecture 19 & 20:
Platonism and Anti-Platonism Today: Conclusion

Readings:
Gilles Deleuze, Essays Critical and Clinical, extract.
Alain Badiou, Manifesto for Philosophy, extract.

Tutorial 4: Week beginning Nov 16th

Final Oral Exams: Week beginning Nov 23rd.

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