In this series of classes, we’ll be reading through Plato’s early dialogues. These dialogues are often heralded as the beginning of Western philosophy, and they remain an excellent introduction to philosophical problems concerning ethics, religion, the soul, immortality, civil disobedience, and even the meaning of life. Each class will be entirely self-contained, so don’t worry if you can’t make all of the classes!
1. Euthyphro: What is the Relationship Between Ethics and Religion?
2. The Apology of Socrates: What Does it Mean to Lead an Examined Life?
3. Crito: Why Should We Obey Laws We Disagree With?
4. Meno: How is Knowledge Possible, Anyway?
5. Phaedo: Is there Life After Death?
Reading: The dialogues we will be reading are available for free online (I will make links available), or as affordable paperbacks. The lectures for the course will be based on the following translation:
Plato, 2002, Five Dialogues: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo. 2nd ed. Trans. GMA Grube. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing. (currently $9.00 on Amazon).