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Socrates
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  JOHN CARVALHOTHE PHILOSOPHY OF SOCRATESSPRING 2003PHI 7110:001OBJECTIVESThere is a calculated irony to this course. It is not clear, of course, that Socrates had aphilosophy. By most accounts he never professed one. In fact, who Socrates was,how the historical figure is related to the persona represented by Aristophanes, Aeschines, Xenophon, Plato and Aristotle, is the subject of considerable debate. In thelast twenty-five years, the debate has intensified to include questions about Socrates’smethod, if he had one, and about how the figure in the “early” dialogues of Plato,represents a view that can be distinguished from the theories of his most famousstudent. In this seminar, we will study Plato’s  Alcibiades  (I and II),  Apology  , Charmides , Crito , Euthydemus , Euthyphro , Gorgias , Hippias Minor  , Ion , Laches , Lysis , Meno , Protagoras , and Republic   I. We will draw extensively from recent commentary toexamine the relation of the historical to the literary Socrates, the order of the dialogues,the differences between Socrates and Plato, Socrates’s method, the theory and priorityof definition, the unity of virtue, Socratic irony, the refutation of the lex taliones , thedefinition of piety, the justification of true belief, and the trial and death of Socrates. PROCEDUREThis is a graduate seminar. There will be no special arrangements to formalizestudents participation. Everyone who attends the seminar meetings will be expected toparticipate in the discussions scheduled for each meeting. TEXTSPlato, Complete Works , ed. John Cooper (Hackett 1997).Benson, ed., Essays on the Philosophy of Socrates  (Oxford 1992).Nehamas, The Art of Living   (California 1998).Nehamas, Virtues of Authenticity   (Princeton 1999).Scott, ed., Does Socrates Have a Method?   (Penn State 2002).Vlastos, The Philosophy of Socrates  (Anchor 1971).Vlastos, Platonic Studies  (Princeton 1981).Vlastos, Socrates, Ironist and Moral Philosopher   (Cornell 1991).Vlastos, Socratic Studies  (Cambridge 1994).See the bibliographies in Benson and Scott for comprehensive lists of articles on thephilosophy of Socrates.REQUIREMENTSOne 20 page research paper.  THE DIALOGUES  Alcibiades I and II, Apology, Charmides, Crito, Euthyphro, Gorgias, Hippias Minor, Ion,Laches, Menexus, ProtagorasEuthydemus, Hippias Major, Lysis, MenoCratylus, Phaedo, Phaedrus, Republic I, SymposiumCritias, Laws, Parmenides, Philebus, Politicus, Sophist, Theatetus, Timaeus TOPICS1.The Paradox of Socrates2.The Historical Socrates and the Socrates of the Dialogues3.Definition4.The Disavowal of Knowledge5.The Socratic Fallacy6.Irony7.Socratic Method: the Elenchus8.Does Socrates have a Method?9.Elechus and Mathematics10.The Unity of Virtue11.Piety12.Socrates and the State13.Socrates as Teacher 14.Philosophy as a Way of Life: Socrates, Nietzsche, Foucault  READINGS1.Vlastos, “The Paradox of Socrates” (1971)Vlastos, “Additional Note 1.1" (1994)2.Vlastos, “Socrates contra  Socrates in Plato,” “The Evidence in Aristotle andXenophon” (1991)Lacey, “Our Knowledge of Socrates” (1971)Dover, “Socrates in the Clouds ” (1971)Kahn, “Did Plato Write Socratic Dialogues?” (Benson)3.Robinson, “Socratic Definition” (1971)Vlastos, “What Did Socrates Understand by His ‘What is F?’ Question?” (1981)Benson, Misunderstanding the ‘What is F-ness?’ Question” (Benson)4.Valstos, “Socrates’ Disavowal of Knowledge” (1994)Woodruff, “Plato’s Early Theory of Knowledge” (Benson)5.Geach, “Plato’s Euthyphro ,” Monist   50:369-82 (1966)Beversluis, “Does Socrates Commit the Socratic Fallacy?’ (Benson)Vlastos, “Is the ‘Socratic Fallacy’ Socratic?” (1994)Vlastos, “Does Socrates Cheat?” (1991)6.Vlastos, “Socratic Irony” (1991)Nehamas, Voices of Silence: On Gregory Vlastos’ Socrates” (Nehamas 1999)Nehamas, “Platonic Irony: Author and Audience,” Socratic Irony: Character andInterlocutor,” “Socratic Irony: Character and Author” (all Nehamas 1998)7.Robinson, “Elenchus,” “Elenchus: Direct and Indirect” (1971Vlastos, “The Socratic Elenchus,” “Postscript to ‘The Socratic Elenchus’” (1994)8.Kraut, “Comments on Gregory Vlastos’ ‘The Socratic Elenchus’,” Oxford Studiesin Ancient Philosophy   1:59-70 (1983)Benson, “Problems with Socratic Method” (Scott)Brickhouse and Smith, “The Socratic Elenchus?” (Scott)Carpenter and Polansky, “Variety of Socratic Elenchi” (Scott)Carvalho, “Certainty and Consistency in the Socratic Elenchus” (Scott)9.Vlastos, “Elenchus and Mathematics” (1991)10.Santas, “Socrates at Work on Virtue and Knowledge in Plato’s Laches ,” “Plato’s Protagoras  and Explanations of Weakness” (1971)Penner, “The Unity of Virtue” (Benson)Vlastos, “The Unity of Virtues in the Protagoras ” (1981)Vlastos, “Happiness and Virtue in Socrates’ Moral Theory” (1991)Vlastos, “The Protagoras  and the Laches ” (1994)  READINGS (cont.)11.Cohen, “Socrates on the Definition of Piety: Euthyphro  10a-11b” (1971)Vlastos, “Socratic Piety” (1991)McPherran, “Socratic Piety in the Euthyphro ” (Benson)12.Brickhouse and Smith, “The Formal Charges Against Socrates” (Benson)Kraut, Socrates and the State  (Princeton 1984)Vlastos, “The Historical Socrates and the Athenian Democracy” (1994)Woozley, “Socrates on Disobeying the Law” (1971)13.Nehamas, “Meno’s Paradox and Socrates as Teacher,” “What did SocratesTeach and to Whom did He Teach It?” (Nehamas 1999)Scott, Plato’s Socrates as Educator   (SUNY 2000)14.Nehamas, “A Reason for Socrates’ Face: Nietzsche on ‘The Problem of Socrates’,” “A Fate for Socrates’ Reason: Foucault on the Care of theSelf” (Nehamas 1998)Foucault, The Use of Pleasure , vol. 2 of The History of Sexuality  , trans. RobertHurley (Random House 1985)
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