PHIL 289 Spring 2013 Socrates (W)

Cross Listed as CLAS289
Socrates was executed in 399 BCE on the charges of impiety and corruption of the youth of Athens. Apparently he corrupted the youth by engaging with them in philosophy. In this class, we will attempt to carry on the noble tradition of corruption by philosophy. We will read works by three of Socrates' contemporaries: Aristophanes, Xenophon, and especially Plato. Through an examination of these works, we will try to get some feeling for what Socrates' controversial positions and his arguments for these positions may have been. While he never wrote any philosophical works of his own, Socrates is one of the most influential thinkers in the western tradition. His thought influenced the thought of subsequent generations of philosophers. In fact, Socrates seems to have been thought of as a kind of intellectual saint in the Hellenistic world. The stoics and skeptics both claimed a Socratic imprimatur for their own thought. Stoicism and skepticism, however, are wildly divergent schools of thought. How could proponents of each be claiming to follow in the footsteps of Socrates? We will read some representative works from each of these schools of thought to see how each approaches Socrates. If time permits, we may also look at how the figure of Socrates has been thought about in the works of more modern thinkers.
Class Format: tutorial
Requirements/Evaluation: five tutorial papers and a final paper
Additional Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: first- and second-year students; some preference will be given to prospective Philosophy and Classics majors
Department Notes: meets History requirement only if registration is under PHIL
Material and Lab Fees:
Distribution Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under CLAS; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under PHIL
Divisional Attributes: Division II, Writing Intensive
Other Attributes: PHIL History Courses
Enrollment Limit: 10
Expected Enrollment: 10
Class Number: 3398
PHIL289-T1(S) TUT Socrates (W) Division 2: Social StudiesWriting Intensive Keith E. McPartland
TBA 3398
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